5 Things I’ve Learned This Semester (That I’m Sure Others Can Relate to)

Written by Chad Faust

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I’ve had an amazing semester, one that’s challenged me in a multitude of ways. There are a lot of things I’ve learned the last few months that I know will help me in the future. Here are 5 of them that I think most college students can relate to:

 

Overspending is easy - and it’s difficult to stop

 

As college students, most of us don’t have an endless amount of funds that give us the complete freedom we want. We’re on a fixed budget, or at least it would be wise of us to be. For me personally, I had a difficult time this semester budgeting out what I needed vs. what I wanted. My friends want Canes three times in a week? Count me in! It’s my friend’s birthday? Well I have to get them something! Gap has a 50% off sale on ALL items? Done! Once I got in this cycle of overspending, it allowed little room for flexibility, and I unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way. Tracking how much you’re spending and finding free alternatives to enjoy activities or events with friends are solutions that can help stem this problem. Finding cheaper options for groceries or eating out where you can reduce portions is something I found useful. Money is not endless, and that’s a hard concept for a lot of students (like me) to understand in college. Catch these mistakes early, and you’ll be looking a lot more fondly at that bank account.

 

There really is such a thing as doing too much

 

Like a lot of college students, I took on a number of responsibilities this semester, academically, socially, and with extra-curriculars. While I wanted to do all of these things, and I was excited to take part in each one, ultimately I was stretched thin in a number of areas. The problem with that is when you allocate your time to so many different activities, the reality is that there will be certain parts of your life that will see less attention than they deserve, and some will see more than they deserve. This isn’t usually fair to the people around you, the activities you’re involved in, or to yourself. For me, I learned that it’s more important to do a few things really well and truly give them my all than doing as much as physically possible to do some things well and others not as well.

 

Sleeping actually is important, even if it doesn’t seem like it

 

You know when you get in the habit of going to bed at 1 and waking up before 7 each day? And how it doesn’t seem to end until the weekend? Yeah, I would not recommend. The reality is that I never had to stay up this late, but distractions and procrastination forced me to most nights this semester. The problem with this is that sleep is really important - it affects how well we can do everything to the best of our abilities each day. Without proper sleep this semester, I was extremely lethargic at times and didn’t always pay attention in class as well as I should, and that makes for a lot of catching up and late nights later on. Nobody should live like this, and unfortunately I learned this through a great deal of late nights at the library or in bed, attempting to soak in information or cranking out papers at the last minute. Sleep is one of the most important things to college students, and it’s important to respect what the body needs. If you have trouble with procrastinating or you often get easily distracted, you’re not alone. But I promise you, life is so much easier when you get the sleep you need. Don’t be like me, and get some sleep!

 

Asking for help shouldn’t be scary

 

There are resources all around this campus to help you if you’re struggling. It’s easy to scoff at first at asking for help, especially if you’re normally someone who doesn’t. However, there really isn’t any harm in seeking help. Whether it’s scheduling an appointment at Boynton, the Writing Center, or Career services, asking for help should never be something to fear. All of our campus resources are designed to help us, not to hurt us, and taking steps to utilize these resources will only help you succeed. As a prideful person myself, I’ve learned to access these resources on campus a lot more this semester than previous ones, and it has helped take a lot of weight off of my shoulders. I would highly encourage others to take advantage of the help here on campus.

 

College is too short - do the things you love

 

It’s hard for me to fathom that the first half of college for me is just about over. I feel as though I’ve been here for a decade, but at the same time I feel like I just got here. That feeling has made me realize that I’ve got to enjoy this time while it lasts. There’s a great chance that we’ll never feel the same way as we do right now ever again in our lives - all of our closest friends are nearby, we don’t have as many things to worry about, and we still aren’t completely on our own. We will never have another experience quite like this one. So, enjoy it.