3 Ways to Potentially Get Your Life Together: Advice From a Second-Semester Senior

Adulting can be stressful, especially when you’re in college and have no idea what the next chapter of your life holds for you. Coming from a family that doesn’t really value education, I had a difficult time adjusting to college and I spent a lot longer than many of my peers learning to navigate through the world of higher education. They say that hindsight is 20/20 and now looking back as a second-semester senior, I can tell you that’s definitely true. I wholeheartedly believe that others should learn from my mistakes, which is why I’m going to give you tips on how to (potentially) get your life together. 

1. Set aside a specific amount of time each week to get stuff done

This is first on my list because it’s what took me the longest to figure out. If you can allot a specific amount of time each week to work on whatever your goals are, it will help you tremendously. For me, my biggest concern is to make sure that I get stellar grades as I will be applying to medical school in a few months and I have some less-than-stellar grades in my past to compensate for.

I determined that what works for me is to set aside 20 hours each week to study. This may seem like a lot, but it doesn’t have to be all at once—an hour or even 30 minutes at a time can add up quickly. The exact amount of time you set aside will depend on what your immediate goal is, but it is important to be realistic and to stay organized. I find it helpful if I write down a goal for the number of hours I want to study each day of the week, what exactly I want to accomplish each day and list out some possible time frames in which I could make that happen. 

2. Start networking ASAP 

This might seem obvious, and you’ve probably heard this about 100 times, but I think it’s important to reiterate. There are so many events on campus, many of them free, to network with professionals in whatever field you’re going into. If you don’t know where to start, you can always contact your advisor, Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising (if you fit into one of those categories) or go to career services to learn about potential networking opportunities on campus. Even just getting involved with student organizations on campus can open many doors for you. From getting involved on campus, I have gotten so many opportunities to meet with professionals in my field, and I’ve even gotten job opportunities that are related to my field—some of them I’m not sure I was even completely qualified for. 

3. Make time for yourself 

Another tip that you’ve probably heard before, but you definitely should put into practice. No matter how crazy life gets, you should always set aside a few hours a week (at least) to do something you find relaxing. I personally like to use that time to go to the gym and cook, but you can do whatever relaxes you. It’s also important to take care of yourself on a daily basis as well, mainly by getting enough rest. I know it seems like there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done and get a good night’s sleep, but this should not be something that you sacrifice.

I am not a morning person at all, but with a lot of coffee, I’ve forced myself to become one. I’ve noticed that by adjusting my lifestyle so that I wake up early and get things done during the day, I get plenty of sleep at night, and my productivity and grades have improved a lot from this change. Inevitably there will be times that this is not possible, but you should definitely try it out and see if it works for you. 

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