By Samantha Helmold
College is not only a time to have fun and experience life as an adult, but a time to study and learn all that you can before you enter the real world. For some, that experience is smooth sailing and a great time, but for others, bumps might be hit every now and then and guidance becomes necessary. Sometimes it even gets to the point where you fall off the wagon and need to re-evaluate your choices. With that being said, how do you determine if you’ve done everything correctly? Nobody can tell you how to be a perfect college student, but working towards becoming a better one is possible.
College is about finding yourself but sometimes we get off track and need some help getting back to where we need to be. Outside sources, inside sources, and even life; sometimes things happen and it can make college a bit more challenging.
When it comes to some study tactics and working on getting a better grade, Hood College professor, Donna Bertazzoni, said, “First and foremost, come to class, pay attention and ask questions. That’s half the battle. Beyond that, time management is the bottom-line skill. Don’t wait until the last minute. At the beginning of the semester, use your iPad calendar to note assignment due dates and test dates. And then start the work in advance. And again, make an appointment with the instructor and ask questions if you are unclear about something.”
College can be pretty challenging sometimes so University of Maryland student, Vas Blagodarskiy, said that when it came to his biggest struggle in college it was, “Letting go of people who I no longer see eye to eye with as a function of difference between my life’s progress and their lives’ progress. As you get older, great people tend to leave your life more than they tend to enter.”
Another college student, Emily Thorne, said, “When it came to the biggest struggle that I dealt with, it was how it can be tricky to decide what classes you need to take (and how to read the credit requirements): the list can be long and confusing. It’s only until this year of school that I’ve finally gotten the hang of reading them on my own.”
College graduate, Doug Raftery, said, “When it came to my biggest struggle in college, I would have to say it was the struggle of getting through some of the liberal arts classes. I went to Hood partially due to liberal arts, but I struggled in some categories, like Probability and Statistics and the non-western civilization courses. Some professors weren’t very understanding when it came to athletics and class, as they wouldn’t excuse an absence because of a game, even though I was representing the institution.”
Even college graduates had tough times getting through college, and it just shows that students are okay to make mistakes, because it shows that they’re human. And while struggles are very much real, there are also moments that provide students with more than they could even bargain for.
Hood Junior, Tara Biser, said that when it came to the most memorable moment so far at Hood, she said, “I got the opportunity to work at NIST over this summer and then present my work with fellow students in a professional setting to Ph.D.’s, which was a big learning experience. Plus I get to go to Dallas in the spring to present my work at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting.”
Shepherd University college graduate, Matthew Fowel, said, “My most memorable moment while I was in school was playing in a professional orchestra with my trumpet teacher and having him say how proud he was of my playing in the ensemble. Looking at the other faculty members in the brass section and seeing how impressed they were is something I will never forget.”
Being a better college student isn’t always about working harder or performing better; it’s about dedication and putting in the time to be the best that you can be, even with the bumps along the way. Nobody can predict the outcome of life, it just has to be followed and worked at. And sometimes, advice is simply all you need to help put into perspective how wonderful college can truly be and how you can do it and make it through.
Hood College’s Provost Dr. Conway-Turner said, “If I could provide any advice for underclassmen transitioning into upperclassmen, it would be that you need to learn to separate from your family, build your own solid foundation and do it yourself. See coming to college as a transition and putting yourself on a path, you’re an adult. It’s time to do it yourself. Also, find your footing, don’t delay the process.”
Dr. Anita Jose, Hood College Management Professor said, “Get the best return on your investment in yourself by being the best that you can be in academics, extra-curricular activities, and co-curricular activities. Be passionate about your studies; take courses outside your major/comfort zone. In addition to your classes, get involved in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities to develop your leadership and team skills. College is a great time for your personal development. Volunteer, and make a difference.”
It’s not always the easiest time, and it certainly isn’t always the hardest time either. College provides many students with multiple opportunities to discover who they are and to excel at what they are passionate about. While student’s can do exceptionally well with what they are studying, some need help. It’s never a bad thing to ask for it and when you get it, use it well and go forward from there. You may never get another chance to be a college student again.