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The beginning of the semester is a great time. Not only have you just gotten back from a long break of relaxation, but you are also one step closer to graduating! Of course, it’s also a stressful time. Not knowing what to expect in a new class makes you edgy, and then there’s the fact that you have to plan what classes you want to take in the next semester pretty quickly.  In order to keep your sanity this semester, remember these 5 things:

1. Don’t Kill Yourself with Credits

Yes, everyone loves to brag about having the biggest class load out of their friends. It is a confidence booster and will send you through the roof, literally!  Understand that you are here for four years and you don’t have to have 100 credits completed by the end of your sophomore year.  Know when to give yourself a lighter semester so you can explore things outside of the classroom like clubs and job opportunities. Or maybe just catch up on sleep.

2. Graduation Planner Stresses People Out

This program is designed to help students plan their academic future, but it usually ends in tears and frustration rather than organizing the path you will take in your academic career. Planning your life a day ahead is hard, let alone four years of your life.  Some people love Graduation Planner because they need to know the exact path they will take, while others don’t plan that far ahead they know things can change in an instant. That said, don’t worry if your graduation planner changes constantly, and if you decide not to use it, don’t feel like you have screwed up your life.  You can still get to where you want to go, no problem!

3. Take Advantage of Academic Advisors

You have to meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester for the first couple years of college.  Don’t look at it as a burden!  Think of it as another tool you can use to help you navigate through college.  They can help with balancing class load, finding resources, and just about anything you can think of.  Some may be better than others, but give them a chance before you decide to rebel against the system.

4. It’s Easy to Find Friends in ANY Class

When you walk into a room full of students who don’t know each other, it can feel weird.  No one wants to be the kid that has no friends in a class, and making them is way easier than you think.  I’m not saying that you’re going to become besties forever, but simply smiling at someone or making small talk can make you feel more comfortable in the class.  Plus, you then have someone you can study with or get notes from when you are sick and can’t make class.

5. C’s Do Get Degrees

No, I’m not advocating for everyone to stop trying in their classes and settle for C’s.  Never settle when it comes to your education.  But there’s always one class that gives someone trouble, and maybe you try your best but you can’t reach the A you desperately want. That’s OK!  College is where you come to learn, so if you got perfect scores on every test, then college would be a waste because you already know the material.  Learning is not a straight line, it has it’s ups and downs.  What matters is to make sure that every time you go down, you make sure to come back up.

Choosing the classes you take at the University of Minnesota is always a big step ahead towards your future, whether you plan out a semester ahead, or four years ahead.  And being in class will push you to not only build relationships with people you otherwise might not have met, it also teaches you that learning is not a race.  Not knowing the answer to everything is OK, that’s what makes life beautiful.


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Emily Jacobson


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