Despite my extended absence from WeAreIU, I still, in fact, go to this wondrous school.
Now almost at the end of my fourth semester, I find myself looking back at the past semesters and the memories that I’ve made thinking: “Have I made my time enjoyable? Have I made college memorable?” It’s safe to say that after joining a sorority, furthering my career in the field of music education, and making many YOLO decisions, I have made college memorable.
But even though I’ve reflected positively on my last two years at IU, it dawned on me – over spring break surprisingly – that I am almost halfway through my college career, and that one thought erased whatever I was thinking about the last four semesters I’ve spent:
“How does one do employment? I have to live by myself? Money??? Screwing up in my job could mean the termination of my career?!”
These sorts of anxious thoughts are what have been clouding my mind lately, and though it’s been a hectic couple of semesters, I know that the road is only uphill from here on out.
Being the control-freak and panicky person that I am, I’ve come up with a few things to start considering as I transition into my last semesters of college, and I hope that for any of you who may be struggling with the reality of adulthood, these sorts of things can put your nerves at ease so that you can successfully graduate without feeling like the world is about to collapse.
Really decide what you want to do
For me, this has been easy since I came to IU. Jacobs is where my heart lies, but not everyone is so lucky. By the time you’re ending your second year in college, it’s a good idea to have a mostly-solid idea of what you want to do with your life. There’s nothing wrong with taking a gap year after college, or honing in on an idea rather than having a concrete one, but it’s important that you start realizing that life will happen before you know it, and having your goals set ahead of time will make your life go much more according to plan.
Plan out everything
Semesters, studying abroad, summer internships, the works. My first three semesters were planned by me, and I cut myself way too much slack, and now I’m paying for it with hectic scheduling and lots of classes. For those that haven’t even hit this halfway mark yet – I’m talking to the freshman – I suggest that you sit down with your advisor and plan out everything that you want to take and have a tentative idea of how your semesters will go, so that when scheduling comes around, you aren’t scrambling to find classes and know exactly what to take to graduate. I literally sat my advisor down and had her write everything down so I know what to do when I’m unsure about scheduling classes
Though this is coming from a perfectionist, organization is the best way to keep your mind un-cluttered and help you focus on the big picture. Whether it’s coming up with a filing system, or simply putting all of your papers into binders, a little organization goes a long way, and your future self will thank you for it (color-coding optional).
Find ways for you to attain your goal – and maybe add a little more to your resume – that aren’t directly related to getting a job straight out of college. Internships, mission trips, and other programs show future employers that you’re dedicated to more than just school, and the more time you have your nose out of the books and in the real world, the higher chance you will have of scoring the job you want.
All of these tips aside, reaching this halfway checkpoint in college is scary, and it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. Freaking yourself out about not having your entire future secure is going to frustrate you more than motivating you to fix it. Everything happens for a reason, and I can promise you that you will turn out fine.
I hope that some of you enjoyed this little snippet, and I plan on contributing here more often!