When reading the title of this article you may think that I had a horrible first semester of college, and that is not at all true! I really did thoroughly enjoy my first semester, but looking back over winter break I knew that I could definitely improve my experience during the second semester, so that is what I did. I put myself out there, got involved with organizations on campus, explored the area around my campus more and overall, just did more. I decided that in order to really enjoy college I needed to keep myself busy by having fun, but also by getting my work done and studying hard so I can succeed in the future. Here's how I made my second semester better than my first.
1. I made a list of goals for the semester and the year.
During the first week of January I decided to write in my journal a list of goals I wanted to reach by the end of this semester, and also by the end of the 2017. This has helped me to stay on track this semester and accomplish different things that I think will help me grow as a person and a student.
2. I put myself out there and got involved on campus.
Last semester I spent a lot of my time when I wasn't in class in my room, watching Netflix and doing work. I really wanted to change that because eventually you run out of episodes of The Office to watch and you get bored. So, I joined a fraternity. Yep, you heard that right, I joined Alpha Phi Omega, a really awesome co-ed community service fraternity. Through this, I have not only made friends from all different majors and walks of life, but I also get to give back to my campus and community, which is really exciting. I also have become more involved with the education clubs I am a part of, which not only helps boost my resume but also encourages me to meet new people and make friends that are in the same major as me and share the same interests.
3. I started working out and taking advantage of the gym on campus.
Let's just say that my new year's resolution every year is to get in shape, and we all know what happens with new year's resolutions. This year I have actually stuck with my resolution! I decided it was finally time to take advantage of the FREE gym on campus, because when are gym memberships ever going to be free again? Since I started going I overall just feel happier, healthier and also more motivated during the day to get stuff done! It isn't always fun to get up and go to the gym, and once I'm there it still isn't fun, but at least I know I am doing something good for my body.
4. I got better study habits and worked a little harder.
As a student, I have definitely improved this semester. I'm not even talking specifically about an improvement in my overall grades, but more of an improvement in my work and study habits. This semester I procrastinate much less and study much harder. I think I have also started to improve my work habits because I have a much busier schedule this semester, and harder classes, so I knew that I needed to step up to the plate and work harder.
5. I started exploring the area around my campus more.
Before this semester, I hadn't really gone off campus and explored the areas around my school, but I decided to change that this semester. I live twenty minutes from Princeton, NJ (which is an adorable little college town), so I finally went a few months ago, explored the town and had some of the best ice cream I've ever had in my life (shout out to The Bent Spoon). Going off campus, whether it be to the movies, to a town nearby or even just to have a fancy "grown up" dinner with your friends is so much fun and has made this semester so much better. "What isn't fun about going off campus?" you may ask: the Uber prices.
6. I started to journal again.
Throughout high school, I kept various journals, some a "diary" style and some in more of a scrapbook style. I just loved how creative you can be with them and how they become a physical representation of who you are at that time. Even though I loved doing this, it was something I kind of stopped doing in college, because whenever I had free time all I wanted to do was relax and watch Netflix. However, during winter break I took up journaling again because I really did miss it, and I have kept up with it throughout this semester. Sometimes it is just nice to take some time for myself, put on some good music and doodle or write about what is going on in my life.
I personally think that in order for college to truly be a success, you don't just need to come out with a good GPA and degree: you also have to grow and evolve as a person. Growth and change are necessary in order to remain happy and healthy, so something I have realized is that sometimes it's a good idea to take a step back and look at your life, making sure that you are living your best life and being the best person you can possibly be. I think I have evolved as a person this year and especially this semester, even if it was just the tiniest bit, which makes me really happy and makes me feel like I'm doing this college thing the right way!
Lead Image Credit: Pexels