With one full semester under your belt, as a second-semester freshmen you have begun to figure it out. Your habits are set, you know your way around campus, and you have a regular group of friends to eat lunch with. First semester flew by in a rush of learning new things on the fly, but your learning experiences are far from over. Use your second semester of college to continue to learn and grow, as a student and as a person.
1. Determine your field of study
Although it does not need to be set in stone, use this semester to declare a major if you haven’t already. You should have taken classes in a few different departments during your first semester, so you’ll have a good idea of the classes you enjoy and excel at. Deciding on a major early will ensure that you can meet prerequisites and start taking higher level classes earlier, all helping to make sure you can graduate in a timely fashion. You could even consider designing your own college major!
2. Pick one activity to get involved with
Odds are, you spent most of your first semester figuring out your study schedule and your way around campus. Take your second semester of college to expand your campus involvement. Find one club or extracurricular that is related to your major or that simply interests you. Extracurricular activities can help you make new friends, gain experiences outside the classroom, and refine your interests.
3. Expand your friend group
The friends you have met during your first semester are irreplaceable; they were there with you struggling through the firsts of college. However, expanding your friend group second semester is encouraged. Meet new friends in your classes to form a study group, or meet a group of friends in your new activity (see above!). The more connections you make in college, the better.
4. Start a steady workout regime
Staying healthy might have been last on your to-do list during first semester, which is understandable as you were mainly focusing on getting adjusted to campus life. Since there won’t be as big of a learning curve this semester, take some time to take care of yourself. Consider using exercise as a healthy study break between classes, either by working out outside or at the campus gym. Exercise has great effects on not only your body but your brain as well, so do both a favor!
5. Explore outside campus
If you’re at a large campus, you probably have everything you need within a few blocks. You have places to study, to grab coffee, and definitely to get food. One exciting part of college is (potentially) being in a new city, so you should take some time to explore it! Getting off campus is an exciting opportunity, and it will make your college definitely seem more like home. You may even stumble upon some exciting job, internship, or volunteer opportunities.
6. Find a mentor
Whether it be a teacher, a coach, or an upperclassman, find someone who can serve as your mentor. Your mentor should be someone who can help you, whether it’s with connections, a letter or recommendation, or even just advice. People like this who can help you through the college experience are invaluable.
Second semester of college is a great time to take advantage of all the opportunities that your school offers you. As you continue to focus on your school work, use some of your extra time to do some extra activities and make more memories.