An End of the Semester Assessment

November 16, 2012

As the end of the semester is approaching, I keep hearing some of the same concerns. Here, I’ve addressed them. Do you have others? Don’t be afraid to ask.

I’ve spent a semester as one major, but I don’t think I want to do it for the rest of my career. Is it okay to change?

Absolutely. Centuries ago, the sole purpose of college may have been to perfect an art or a skill, but the days of Dante are over. Nowadays, the first order of business is figuring out what you want to do. If that means spending a semester or two (or hell, maybe 3) without an absolutely clear direction, that’s okay. You may have to make up some time and take a few summer classes or possibly even an extra semester, but I’m of the opinion that it’s more important that you do what you love. It’ll be much more valuable in the end.

I’ve got a class that I’m not doing very well in. Do you think I can hack it in the long run?

Again, absolutely. So college isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. But just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re not capable. Keep in mind that you are not your grade. After all, a grade only tells you how well you performed in that specific class, per that instructor’s standards. Some professors are impossible to please and some subjects just don’t click. Don’t panic. I’m a perfectionist, so I realize how hard it is to actually internalize that idea, but do as I say…not as I do.

I see that Greek life is a big thing around here. Should I get in on it?

That’s totally up to you. Just know that not being involved in Greek life does not mean that you’ll suffer from some underdeveloped social life. I know a lot of people that love their sorority or fraternity and I see a really genuine sense of community and support in a lot of cases. I also get the sense that being involved in Greek life provides convenient access to events and networking opportunities. I was never inclined to join a sorority, partly because I never had the due money laying around, but mostly because I found my community elsewhere. I also just never liked the dressing alike thing. Don’t tell me what to wear.

I blew money this semester…what’s the best way to save it next semester?

  1. Cut back on the booze. The stuff’s expensive.
  2. Use your meal plan, if you have one. Not your declining balance…that stuff runs out really quickly. If you’re at CINO, learn what a “meal” consists of.
  3. Stop buying unnecessary things? When you don’t have to drag your purchases back to your parents’ house to be subjected to their scrutiny, it’s much easier to pick up a new present for yourself here and there. But let’s be honest…do you really need it?
  4. Take the shuttle as often as you can to avoid spending money on gas. Or better yet, buy or rent a bike.
  5. Get an on-campus job to bring in a little extra cash.

Any more questions? Keep ’em coming.

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