First Semester Recap

First Semester Recap

Upon completion of my first semester as a first year at Barnard, I figured it would be somewhat helpful to share some reflective thoughts and tips for the incoming class of 2021. 

1) Yes, it does fly by.

As cliché as it may sound and despite there being long, exhaustive moments throughout the semester, it truly does fly by! I walked into college knowing this so I made it a goal to thoughtfully carry out my activities each day (may or may not have accomplished this) but I certainly tried to expose myself to new opportunities and challenges.

My biggest tip would be to surround yourself with a refreshingly new yet comfortable environment— do not get caught up in seeking a friend group that’ll last the next four years, and instead just keep it simple. Focus on the bare minimum and work on introducing yourself to friends with similar and/or different academic interests, aspirations, and characteristics. In doing so, you will familiarize yourself with your hallmates/classmates and feel less intimidated by the college environment. 

 

2)   Take it easy.

Don’t get me wrong, challenging yourself in a new environment may pay off in the future but adjusting with a smooth transition is just as important. l can definitely say that I should not have taken 17 credits my first semester, because while the classes were fantastic and academically rigorous, I felt like I did not have enough time to absorb the content of each course and therefore did not walk away with the most fulfilling experience.

My advice would be to thoughtfully plan out your academic schedule and take into consideration your extracurricular activities, job(s), social life, and of course, SLEEP. The college transition is not fulfilled within a designated amount of time but instead varies from person to person. For me, it personally took some time to adjust and I would argue that the transition is still a reoccurring aspect of my first year because new experiences are constantly popping out of the blue. 

3)   Self-care is key.

Upon entering college you will find yourself surrounded by some of the brightest and most talented peers and well that could be... overwhelming. You may find yourself questioning your worth and/or acceptance to this prestigious college during some of lower moments, but this is a feeling many people have. My tip would be to distract yourself from those self-destructing thoughts because they are useless—the hard part is over, you have already gone through the selective admissions process and now it's time to work on being the best version of yourself.

Obviously, it is much easier said than done! During the times I felt low, I focused my energy on my future. Take some time to treat yourself to Netflix and chill nights, lengthy naps, and/or go on mini adventures around the city to escape the campus scene. There are numerous alternatives on and off campus to indulge in some rightfully deserved self-care.  

Email me if you have questions! 

Hagir

he2233@barnard.edu

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