My first two years of college were a real struggle. I had horrible study habits carried over from high school which didn't require much effort and yielded good grades. Needless to say, this method did not serve me well in my college courses.
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It’s finals time. That time of year when students are grabbing their grade calculators to see what they have to make on the final to get a grade that they want. The time where you lock yourself in the library for hours, studying. Your first round of final exams can be stressful to say the least, but soon after you can breathe a sigh of relief because you have completed your first semester! Here are a few do’s and don’ts for finals:
All of your life you’ve had to take tests and exams to show that you are learning. Finally, the end of the school year has come, and you say “Yes! I never have to take another exam”.
Well, that may be true depending on the path you choose. However, all of those test taking skills you’ve developed over your educational career will come in handy and prove to be actually useful. If you think about the mental and physical process that occurs when you are preparing for an exam, it’s not too different from the process that you go through in your summer internship or first job.
At this point we’re all preparing for exams and getting ready to settle in to three weeks of Netflix and no 8 am classes. Winter break serves as a great time to recharge, but it also provides a period to reflect on the past semester: What went well and what… didn’t. Some students may find themselves questioning the major they have selected, and whether it’s the right fit. Throughout my own college experience I have drifted between about five different departments. Changing your major? Been there done that.
In my opinion, networking can be one of the hardest parts of developing your career. At first, it may seem very intimidating. Not very many people love trying to make small talk with professionals in the field they are interested in, and most find it to be somewhat awkward and uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be this way! After all is said and done, networking is simply about making a connection with someone. It can happen in a professional setting, like at networking events or in a professional association, or in an informal setting, like at the grocery store or while volunteering. It is important to remember that networking is about creating authentic relationships with people. It is easy to tell when someone is using your for your connections, so it is always a good idea to get to know the people in your network on a deeper level.
One of the most valuable things a student can do during college is complete an internship. You’ve probably heard this a million times before, but it is absolutely true. They are great for gaining work experience, forming connections, and so much more. However, it can be hard to find internships, especially when you are interested in a career that doesn’t have a lot of internship opportunities. I learned during my time here at Carolina, that sometimes the best internship positions do not exist yet.
My first job was delivering a weekly newspaper (The Grit) in Thebes, Illinois -- a village of 450 people in southern Illinois on the Mississippi River. I had anywhere from 60 to 90 subscribers and it took me two evenings each week either walking or biking to deliver the papers. I learned how to communicate with people from multiple generations.