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Lessons I’ve learned as a College Graduate

Tara Patwardhan sheher

By Tara Patwardhan sheher9 Apr 2021

As someone who has been through the trials and tribulations of an undergraduate education, I’ve picked up a few important tips and tricks along the way. My experience as a #student for four years at a large public #university has taught me more than in my 18 years of elementary through high school. So without further ado, here are the most important lessons I’ve learned as a #college #graduate: 1. Get involved! I spent about 2 years of my #undergrad being “too busy” to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus. It wasn’t until my 3rd year that I finally took the step towards getting involved in my school’s Greek community and in #research labs on campus. Being involved on campus will allow you to meet like-minded individuals who share the same values as you, and might even introduce you to your friends for life. The reality is, everybody has enough time with the right time management skills. This brings me to my next point: 2. Manage your time effectively. Google Calendar was my best friend throughout college. Balancing a job and a full load of #classes wasn’t the easiest task. Time blocking out my schedule to study, go to work, go to my organization’s events, and have a social life became my holy grail. I was on the quarter system, so classes moved fast, and if you were behind by even a few days, you were forced to play a game of intense catch-up. Not fun. 3. Going off of my last point, study your notes for class immediately after/ within 24 hours of lecture. By spacing out your studying this way, it makes material much easier to retain and understand when midterms/finals roll around, and trust me, they come much faster than you’d expect. Take a half hour to organize your notes and review them, and you’ll be thanking yourself when it comes to #exam time. 4. Write your notes on pen and paper. According to a 2014 Princeton/UCLA study, students who write notes with pen and paper reframe the concepts in their own words, which benefits retention of course material. This helped me out immensely, as I was able to summarize information quickly. 5. Don’t participate in the “Who got the least amount of sleep” olympics. It’s not worth it, I promise. For a long time, it was a point of competition between my peers and the conversation usually went something like this: “I’m so tired, I only got 4 hours of sleep last night” “Oh, yeah? You think you’re tired? I only got 2 hours of sleep!” “You think YOU’RE tired? I pulled an all-nighter!” Yeah, not the nicest conversation. Sleep is so important, even more crucial than you might think. According to the NIH, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and obesity. You will have to make many sacrifices in your time in college, but try not to make sleep one of them. Trust me. Coming from someone who would brag about getting 3-4 hours of sleep, it’s not cute, and does more harm than good to yourself and those around you. 6. #Relax. You will figure it out. If you’re feeling even a little bit anxious about your future, you’re in a good place (I know what you’re thinking, is she crazy? Anxiety is good? A little bit of anxiety and stress gets the job done, just seek help when it gets overwhelming). You don’t have to apply to #internships in your first semester at school. Take time to get yourself acquainted, and later on down the road, apply to internships and jobs that will help with your #career. There are a lot more lessons that I’ve learned throughout my time in college, but these are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you embark on this new #journey.