What to Expect in Your Second Semester

Intro – I had the pleasure of being a Freshman Studies peer mentor for first-year students at my university last semester. One of my students asked me what to expect in his second semester. That’s a loaded question, I thought, but I was able to come up with a few highlights from my own experiences.

My second semester was the first time I made a friend at university. I joined the orientation team and met so many wonderful people. I’m still friends with most of them. I was in a hard place before my second semester, so meeting these people was just what I needed. Even though I don’t still talk to all of them, it gave me the base I needed to have the confidence to go out and meet new people. When I think of my second semester, I think about how it was when I knew I’d chosen the right university for me.

I changed my major before my second semester started. I met so many wonderful professors and friends in my new classes. Not only did I find people that helped me belong in my college town, I found the career field. Even though I don’t know exactly what I’m going to be doing after graduation, I know that I’ll be well-educated, and I have a lot of options. Classes in my second semester were so much more enjoyable than my first semester. The more interested I am in my classes, the easier they are. I learned that my second semester. 

It took me a while to get fully immersed in my extracurriculars. My second semester was key. I secured a job at the on-campus radio station and quit my job at the daycare. Even though the daycare was my favorite job I’d ever had, I needed to pursue a job in my field. Now, of course, the radio is my favorite place to be. At the time, it was a scary transition. Going to meetings with no friends is scary. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll meet people there and make friends, though. Doing scary things is hard, but it is key for your university experience.

I’m really lucky to have a lot of support in my hometown and in my college town. That doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with my mental health. My first semester was hard for me, so my second semester was my recovery time. I found my place – my home – on campus. Knowing that you belong is key to your mental health.

I think a lot of first semester freshman fear the second semester because it seems unknown. Once you come back for your second semester, it starts to feel like you can do anything. As far as the university goes, that’s true. You can succeed in your classes. You can find help when you need it. You can find your home. In fact, I’m sure you already have one. Even if it’s just your counselors and professors, people on your campus do care about you. Reach out to the person that sits next to you in biology. I’m sure they could use a study group just the same as you.

Assistance on campus is there for you. If you need help studying, the help is there – the same with writing, math and making friends. There’s a chance to form your own political opinions. There’s a chance for you to learn a new skill. Your second semester begins your chance to find yourself. Don’t let it go to waste.