7 Lessons from 7 Weeks of Spring Semester

Me at TAMUhack

Spring break is here, and what a semester I’ve had so far. Spring semester has been hectic, with classes and extracurriculars, but I’m loving it!

Over the past 7 weeks, I’ve joined a research team, tried some student orgs, thought about long term plans and last but not least, stressed about classwork. This semester has definitely been busier than my last, but has also been more fulfilling. I’ve made connections with some truly amazing people who have made the college experience one of the best experiences of my life so far.

Over this spring break, I decided to share some lessons I’ve learnt this semester having adapted to the college lifestyle.

1. 8am’s aren’t as bad as they say

Taking 18 credit hours this semester and looking for good professors, I had 8am’s every single day compared to none in the fall, but it actually hasn’t been too bad. Sure, there are some days where you question your life choices, but getting out of class at 2pm every day makes it worth the struggle. And besides, you now have a longer day because you woke up earlier! Although, the lack of sleep might catch up to you…

2. 18 credit hours IS as bad as they say

Taking 18 credit hours has made me realise the importance of having time to recharge. Half my classes are core classes so the workload hasn’t been overwhelming. However, classwork coupled with research, organisations and campus events leaves me physically and mentally exhausted most days. Spending time with friends and pursuing my hobbies has helped me get through some rough weeks. It’s crazy how we have become inseparable in just a couple months!

3. Studying last minute is not a viable option

Last semester, I studied for my exams the night before, with the exception of finals. This semester, a combination of harder material and a busy schedule means that studying last minute is no longer a good plan for my harder classes. As I progress in my degree, there is no doubt that this will be increasingly true.

4. Choosing a good professor is vital

I’ve had some great luck in my professors so far, especially my math class this semester where professors are unknown when you register for classes. A good professor reduces your workload by a lot and helps you enjoy the class. Also, there are some vastly different grade distributions for different professors in the same course, so it could mean the different between an easy A and a difficult one.

5. Searching for an summer internship is hard

After countless online applications, multiple networking events and one career fair, I have gotten no closer to an internship. Many of my friends have found their plans for this summer, while I’m still holding out for something. I haven’t received an interview from any of my applications, making me wonder if there’s something flawed in my qualifications. Applying earlier in the fall is the plan for next summer, but for now I’ll keep applying and keep my fingers crossed…

6. Focus on one or two organisations

You shouldn’t join student organisations for the sole purpose of putting it on your resume. Being very commited in one or two organisations and possibly earning that leadership position is infinitely more valuable than being a member of five organisations. I understand that there are so many amazing organisations to join, but knowing everyone in your organisations is rewarding in the long run.

7. Try to take part in as many campus events as possible

College events are phenomenal experiences. Last semester I attended many dinner events with a professor speaker, in addition to free food, the professors have some great advice and stories to tell. This semester I attended my college’s annual hackathon, TAMUhack, and had a blast. Sometimes getting those extra hours of sleep might sound more appealing than attending an event, but make an effort to attend and you won’t have any regrets. A friend invited me to be part of his team for the Texas A&M Regional Engineering Conference (TREC), a prototype and presentation event. I had a lot of fun during the event, no regrets waking up at 7am on a Saturday.

Let’s hope that the next half of this semester is as good as the first!

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