Making Most Of Spring

New Semester, New You: Making the Most of Spring

As you prepare for new classes by memorizing your schedule, seeing who is in the course with you, and adjusting to change, do not forget to take a deep breath. Last semester could have been a bit rocky, or maybe it was smooth sailing. Either way, it is in the past. Do not put yourself down because of the marks you earned or boast yourself if you did well. Taking college courses, each with different teaching styles and workloads, is not always an easy journey.

My freshmen year came easier for me than my friends. I enjoyed my classes, really pushed myself to achieve the grades and learning I wanted to, and I was motivated. Sophomore year I lost a bit of that fire. My courses were more difficult, and I had all new professors that I had to become accustomed to. Still, I pushed myself.

In college, this happens all the time; you lose motivation and dedication. Stress and anxiety can try to take over, but do not let it. You’re not alone when you’re going through these motions. It is a part of the “college experience” and growing. Once you get through a challenging course, professor, or semester, you will realize you can do anything you put your mind to.

These four years are the best years of your life, and the years that go by the quickest. Senior business student, Alison Maoli said, “I remember moving into Pinewood Hall the first day of college, and now I have about four months left. Looking back on it, I just wish I never took time for granted and learned to enjoy life more. Also, time management was a big factor and skill that I think college students need to learn.”

Time stops for no one. I, along with Maoli, will be walking on the stage at PNC Banks Art Center on May 10.  Do not take Monmouth for granted and everything the university has to offer. Go to the sports games, get involved on campus, go out for a sorority or fraternity, and just take a step outside of your comfort zone. You never know the friends you can and will meet and make.

Time management is the key in college. Plan your week in advance, and know when certain assignments or projects are due. Don’t forget the importance of relaxing sometimes as well—pick that one night to relax and binge watch Netflix.

Set goals for yourself, such as earning an A on a paper, or studying a chapter a night before cramming it all in the night before your exam. Once you cross off a goal, or a step forward, you will feel much better and not as stressed.

Do not be afraid to meet with your professor, to clarify an assignment or for some guidance. Alena Graedon, an assistant professor of English, said, “Academically, I think it’s helpful for students to visit their professor’s office hours once or twice early in the semester. It established a connection, it helps professors learn a little more about individual students, and it gets students into the practice of meeting with their professors if they later on have a question, run into a problem, or just want to talk something over.”

Your professors are there to help you and be there for you every step of the way. Show them that you care, and that you want to do well. Meeting with professors goes a long way.

Kaitlyn Jones, a senior health studies student, said, “It is good to find that balance. Find that happy medium with schoolwork, classes, and hanging with friends.”

Health is something we all should focus on during our time away from our parents’ care. Jones advised, “Do not forget to take care of your body. Try and eat healthy, work out, and just be aware of the food you consume. Sugary and fatty foods will not help you stay focused. Get enough of sleep each night so you are alert in class and are ready to learn.”

College is that time you really start to take responsibility for yourself. Your diet will change. Ramen noodles may taste amazing, but they are not the best for your body. Staying up until 4 a.m. when you have a 10:05 a.m. class is not the greatest choice, and you will be sleepy and falling asleep in a lecture, not knowing what is occurring.

All in all, enjoy your college experience at Monmouth. Take advantage of everything that comes with your new life for the next four years. Find a balance and schedule that works for you. Just know, with college comes adjustments, stress, and anxiety. It also comes with new friends, greater knowledge, and laughs.

PHOTO COURTESY of Kaitlin McGuire.