This is College: Thoughts of an Undergraduate Peer Academic Advisor vol 1.1

Entry: First Month of College
Peer Advisor: LaDesha Batten
Major: Psychology
Class: Sophomore

The leaves are beginning to turn colors, hoodies and scarves are being pulled out, it’s almost October, midterms are occurring-all which mean that you have made it through the first month of college!
I have always been told that college is a true learning experience-it can be the best years of your life or even the worst… basically it’s all in what you make it. The first month of college takes you through a wide range of emotions. You go from having that rush of energy and excitement about moving in, to that nervous or sad feeling of being homesick after the first couple of days- at least I did. I told myself I wouldn’t cry when I left my parents, however I was wrong. I did shed a few tears, and the next two or three days I thought about everyone back home. However, after the first week or two I began to adjust. One of the biggest problems I’ve seen is trying to get use to sharing a room with someone you don’t know. This can be a hard adjustment; however some roommate relationships bloom into lifelong friendships. You’re transitioning from the dependent to independent life style- no more rules and regulations. You also have to adjust to a wide range of class sizes and teaching techniques.

During my first month I discovered 3 important tips to surviving college that has been essential to my life. The first is getting involved. During the first month it can take a while to get over being homesick- transitioning can be hard for some. Getting involved allows us the opportunity to meet new people and make our college experience worthwhile. It allows you to get out and be active around campus instead of sitting around. The Connection Carnival and Office of Student Involvement website allowed me to find clubs and organizations that interested me. Second- networking. In order to receive great opportunities you must begin to network with faculty and staff. You must put in effort to get to know your professors, go to office hours, etc. Great opportunities can come from getting to know someone, such as research positions, job opportunities, recommendations, etc. Lastly, stay focused. With so much going on all the time on campus from different events, to club meetings, etc., it is sometimes easy for us to get distracted. However, you can’t always do everything! My problem has always been procrastination. There were times where I didn’t manage my time wisely and instead went out with friends instead of doing papers or assignments, in which can lead to bad consequences. Academics should always come first, in order to be successful during our time here at Mason.

On a last note, we all know that midterms are arriving. This is the time where you really need to buckle down. Time to set aside all fun activities and put twice as much effort into studying. Most midterms are usually your first exams in each class which are sometimes the most nerve wrecking only because you’re not necessarily sure what to expect. We tend to stress out during this time, but just take a deep breath and relax. Form study groups, talk to professors, get a good night’s rest, or whatever you need to do to feel prepared except procrastinate! Good Luck!

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