How to Make the Most of This Semester (Before It’s Too Late)

We are now getting back into the college grind, which can be difficult after a long, relaxing summer break. Getting back into a school routine and balancing a social life is not easy at all, but it is possible. It is important to make the most of your college experience, because trust me, the years fly by. I’m now halfway done with college, and looking back, there are so many things I wish I took advantage of early on. But, I am starting to now, with this fresh new semester. And you can, too. Here are some not so obvious ways to make the most of these next few months:

 

  • Learn Your Limits

 

The phrase “know your limit” hits a variety of topics within your college years. The more obvious limit here is involving partying—something I am by no means endorsing, but also not rejecting. Whether you choose to party or not is up to you, but make sure you know when you’ve had enough. You don’t want the whole semester spent waking up with regrets, so just learn your limits early on. 

More importantly, know your limit in terms of studies. Know when you overwork yourself –because there honestly is nothing advantageous to studying too much. You end up with an overload of information and struggle on exams to recall more important details, so learn the amount of work that works best for you. Don’t feel bad if you don’t spend as much time on an assignment or study sesh than your friends: it’s about quality, not quantity.

Last, bluntly put, know your *bullshit* limit. By this, I mean take no bs from people. It’s easy at the start of the semester to want to please people and give them their way, but don’t let someone walk all over you. This is more of a life lesson in general, but compromise with everyone. If you don’t learn your own personal limit of how much you are willing to give up vs. what you want for yourself, you’ll spend this semester with fake friendships and unhappy decisions. Don’t be afraid to own what you want. 

 

  • Say Yes (but also No)

 

“Say yes.” A phrase you’ve probably heard more than once in your lifetime. And, good advice for making the most of your semester. I know it is tempting to lay in bed and watch Netflix some nights, but when you decide to go out with new people instead, you end up having more fun. Try new things and don’t be afraid to reach out to people you’ve never hung out with before, or say yes to doing something you’ve never done (with caution, obviously). This is how the best memories are made.

But, there is a catch, as always. Don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything. That’s something you learn throughout your college years—there will always be another party, another tailgate, another movie date, or another late-night ice cream run. If you really are too tired, have too much schoolwork, or just truly don’t want to go out, don’t force yourself to. There will be another time to do it. Falling behind on schoolwork or sleep is not worth just another frat party that is the exact same as the one next Thursday night. Trust me ☺

 

  • Get Involved

Taking a trip down memory lane to freshman orientation when you were told a million and one times to get involved on campus. I was sick of hearing it too, but it really is one of the best pieces of advice to make the most of this semester (and the following ones). Do something else besides school, anything. Doesn’t matter if it is a club, sports, volunteer work, or even just attending a social here and there (no, not a frat party, an actual social on campus). This is how you make a big school feel more like home, meet people with similar interests, find your passions, and actually enjoy college. Take it from me and my personal experiences thus far: school sucks when all you do is school. Life is too short to focus solely on academics. Yes, they are very important. But, don’t let grades control your semester. Live a little.

 

  • Make Mistakes (and learn from them)

 

“Before it’s too late.” Whatever this means to you, I’m sure it doesn’t resonate well. Take it lightly, though. I just don’t want you all to have any regrets at the end of the semester about not trying new things or meeting enough people. This doesn’t mean not making mistakes, though. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t feel bad if you regret some small decisions or think about the “what ifs.” Just don’t let these feelings irk you throughout the course of the semester. Move on. Learn from them. Just don’t do whatever it is you regret again. Circling back to my first point, how do you think you learn your limits? You go a little too h.a.m. the first time. And that is OKAY. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel down on yourself. It’s okay to regret a decision, and be frustrated after the fact. Live through the short period of remorse, pick yourself back up, and keep living the best semester of your life. Until the next one. ;) 

Hopefully these few tips will make the next few months of your college life a little bit easier. College is meant to be fun -- because it’s all new and exciting. So, let it be fun, let it be exciting, let it be an amazing four years you won’t regret, regardless of where you go to school, who you go to school with, or how long you’re in school for. Everyone’s college experience is different, so make it the best one for you. There’s no rulebook to living the best college life. All there is is advice from people who have been through it, and I hope that’s what I this does for you. Best of luck—you’re gonna kill this semester. ☺