Sophomore year has been a rollercoaster so far. I’ve been extremely busy with extracurricular activities, school, and friends. I have learned a lot of valuable lessons when it comes to time management, taking care of yourself, and having a social life. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned during my first semester of sophomore year.
1. Don’t Over Commit Yourself
The first lesson I learned was not to over commit myself. The college student way is to join as many organizations and extracurricular activities as possible. I am definitely one of those students that have fallen into that trap. It’s all fun and games until you realize you haven’t had a meal all day or aren’t getting home until really late at night.
This semester I wanted to get as involved as possible, and sure I made some really great connections and friends, but I was exhausted every day. Sometimes even coming home to my roommates was too much social interaction and I would have to close and lock my door just to be alone for a few hours.
Not only was I socially exhausted, but I was drowning in work most weeks. This semester I was taking some pretty hard classes and had a lot of homework, but I was also attending meetings, going to cheer practice, and still trying to hang out with friends. I also had to find some time to eat.
I became a master multitasker and often did homework as I ate, or would have a study date with friends where we would all sit together and silently do homework. Next semester I definitely need to work on not over-committing myself. Being exhausted all the time was no fun, even though I got a lot of benefits from the things I was doing.
2. Keep An Organized Planner
The second lesson I learned was to keep an organized planner. This semester I was packed down with work and meetings. I was never one to use a planner or an agenda, but I found myself confusing dates and missing meetings, so I knew it was time to get organized.
I bought a planner at the beginning of the year and it automatically became my best friend. Each class was color-coded differently so I knew what assignments were for what. I also would write due dates next to each assignment so I knew exactly how long I had to get it done.
One other thing I did that really helped me stay organized was that I would check off assignments when they were handed in. It was a visual marker that told me I got something done and no longer had to worry about it. Especially during midterms and finals, this was definitely rewarding to see things physically checked off my list.
My planner also had a calendar page for each month, along with individual week and day breakdowns. The bigger calendars I used to mark more fun dates like birthdays, TV show premieres, or lunch dates with friends. This helped me stay on top of things that I did on my downtime, and I made sure that I also designated times for me to just chill by myself.
3. Spend Time With Friends
One of the lessons I wished I learned earlier was to spend more time with friends. There were definitely some weeks where I literally didn’t have time to hang out with anyone. Mealtimes were designated for work and most nights I was running to meetings or practice. I also had days where I was feeling anti-social, but I do wish I had spent those days with friends.
Going into winter break knowing that I won’t see some of my friends for a month (or more) really sucks. I am totally going to miss them and I regret not spending more time with them. Of course, schedules are hectic and people are busy at their own times, but I know I could have put in more effort.
Even spending 20 minutes grabbing a quick bite with someone could have really made a difference, but I would think of things too late. Next semester I am vowing to spend more time with friends. I love all of the people I have met in college and I want to make sure they know I am there for them.
4. Take Time For Yourself
One of the best lessons I learned was to take time for myself. One thing I did this semester, was to try to designate time for myself. There were a couple of nights every few weeks where I purposely didn’t schedule anything. I needed to be able to come home and just lounge around and watch TV or read. When I’m at home on breaks I have so much free time and I come to miss that a few weeks into the semester.
Wednesday nights were mainly my “me” nights and I would celebrate that by watching TV and eating some of my favorite snacks. Although it was only for a couple of hours, sitting down and doing something I enjoy really helped me get through the week. Lucky for me, my roommates knew Wednesday nights were my “me” nights, so they would let me cry, laugh, and scream all I wanted.
Next semester I hope to do the same thing and be able to take some time for myself. I think it helped balance out my stress and made me want to be more productive so I could take some time off. Getting into the groove of things may be a little difficult at first, but once you get into it, it goes great.
5. Call Your Family More Often
One of the final lessons I learned was to call my family more often. Being at a school nearly 4 hours away from my hometown, I definitely rely on FaceTime to update my parents about what’s going on in my life. With a heavy school workload and a constantly booked schedule, I found it really hard to call my family sometimes. Finding a time to sit down to chat for an hour or so was rare, but when I did find the time, I would realize how much I missed my family back home.
I would update my mom on weeks worth of news and life happenings because so much time would pass between the last time we talked. I wished I had made more time to call my parents because I was missing out on a lot at home. I felt really behind on family news because of my hectic schedule.
I didn’t have the opportunity to go home until Thanksgiving, meaning I went over three months without seeing my parents, brother, or (most importantly) my cats. I realized when I went home how disgustingly homesick I was and I really did not want to go back to school to finish out the semester.
Being constantly busy and always on the go, I didn’t let myself, but my family on the back burner, which was not a smart idea. Next semester I am going to designate times during the week to call my family because I never want to feel as homesick as I did this semester.
Sophomore year has been a blast so far. I have made so many amazing memories and I can’t wait to make even more next semester. I also learned lots of new lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my college career. What are some lessons you learned during the school year? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/727894358505983383/
Meagan is a current sophomore at Emerson College studying Sports Communications, Esports, and Marketing. She loves all things sports, TV shows, movies, and video games. She is also a dancer, cheerleader, and extremely involved around campus.