By Alexander Diedrick
For all the college freshmen out there, you are just about done with your first semester at college. Let me tell you congratulations and that there is so much you should be doing right now to make sure you don’t lose speed as you continue in your college career.
I know that you are still working on adjusting to college life, but that doesn’t mean that you should be wasting your time. Freshman year is the best time to develop good habits for your remaining years, and there is no time like your first semester.
That’s why we put together a list of things you can do to make sure that you take advantage of your last few weeks. It’s a good way to wrap up your first semester (holiday joke!).
Start Studying For Finals Now
It may seem like overkill, but it’s never too early to start studying for finals. Since you are a new student, you’ve never really come across an actual college final. Sure you had something similar in high school, but college is a whole new ballgame. You won’t know what to expect until you’re sitting in your desk with a blue book and pencil in hand.
Find classmates that you trust to put together a study group. Ask your professors for study guides or an explanation as to what you should expect (i.e. multiple choice or essay) for the final. Every class and teacher is different, so you won’t know until you ask.
The reason why you should start a couple weeks ahead of time is that it’s a good idea to study little by little instead of an eight-hour study session a day before the final. The latter is a good way to close out your first semester with a big ol’ F on the final.
Discuss Your Living Plans For The Future
If you’re a freshman, there is a good chance that you’re living in the dorms right now. And you probably already know if that’s the way you want to be living after your freshman year.
Dorms are great…for a while. I lived in the dorms for three semesters before I transferred schools, and it does have its pluses. It also has its minuses when compared to living off-campus, so you need to figure out what is best for you.
Start talking with your friends that you might want to live with. If you don’t want to keep going with your current roommate, make it clear to him or her now – it’s a lot easier to face that in December than struggling to make plans in the spring. You have to do what’s right for you, and having a plan now will make the spring go that much easier.
Know Where To Sell Your Books Back
From one college student to another, textbooks are mighty beasts that prey on your money. You need to know how to solve that problem by the end of the semester, or at least cut your losses as best you can.
There are a number of places that buy back your textbooks, from your college bookstore to Amazon. You can get ripped off, though, so make sure you do your research. The best route to take is to find someone who will be taking the same class next semester, and sell the book to them for less that they would have to buy it and more than you’d have to sell it to the bookstore.
Try To Make Your Professors Into Contacts
Many professors see hundreds of students per day. With all of those faces, they don’t have the time to seek out specific students with whom they see potential. That’s why you, the student, have to make sure they remember your face and name.
If you can do this, you will have someone for advice for the rest of your college years, and even better, a reference for your career. There is no exact formula for making a professional contact out of your professor, but it can start with a few simple emails. As long as you’ve been a pretty good student up until now, you might find a very receptive ear from your professor.
You shouldn’t expect to change everything from this semester in these last few weeks, but you can at least finish strong. And that will make the rest of your seven semesters even better.
Alexander Diedrick is a television writing and production student at Columbia College of Chicago. In addition to producing and writing for Price of Admission, a movie and television review show for college students, Alexander is a writing intern at myFootpath, LLC.