If there’s anything that being a junior in college during a pandemic gets you, it’s a lot of regrets. Being a junior means over half of your college adventure is already over and there’s not much more to go. There’s plenty of things upperclassmen wish they could go back and tell their freshman self. Lucky for the 2021 Freshman class, here are some tips to make sure the college experience is one you won’t regret.
Don’t be afraid to explore other majors – It’s okay to not know what you want to do coming into college or to question your current major. There are so many different avenues to explore, and you might find you like a different major better. This doesn’t mean failure and doesn’t have to seem so intimidating. Changing majors isn’t as big a deal as it’s made out to be. Talk to students in that major, advisors, or even professors to figure out what major is best. Having a willingness to try new things, will save a lifetime of regret over picking the wrong career path out of fear of change.
Go to the campus events – This can’t be stressed enough. There are so many cool things happening all the time on campus that students pay for as a part of their tuition. Get the most out of that over $40k sticker price and go make a craft, attend a lecture event, or at the very least get some free food. Not only does this help with getting involved on campus, but it also creates so many experiences and memories just a few steps away from the dorms.
Create connections with professors and advisors – The connections made in college benefit for a lifetime. That’s not even an exaggeration. By connecting with professionals in the university, it makes it easier to find internships, job opportunities, experience in career fields, get feedback on work, and creates an overall better college experience. These people are here to help students find their way, and many are excited to assist students with whatever they need. Making these connections now can pay off down the road while looking for jobs or an “in” into different places.
Leave the dorms – This one is especially important during the winter months. One of the lovely things about Point Park is that it’s smackdab in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh. The university is surrounded by art museums, parks, small businesses, constant events, and beautiful scenery. There’s so much to see in a small number of years of schooling. It’s easy to slip into a depressive episode, especially during winter, and only leave the dorms for classes. Getting out and about can instantly improve sad moods. Even just a walk to Point State Park or Village Park can help students embrace the rays of the sun for a much-needed break.
Don’t stress too much over grades – Since starting school, students are constantly hounded about their grades. Students are told that they’re the most important part of their education and to keep scores as high as possible. This is the main stress factor for students in college, however, work experience is going to outweigh grades in most situations. While it’s important to not flunk out of college, it’s just as important not to over-stress about needing a 4.0 GPA. As long as students are learning about their career field, gaining internships and other job opportunities, getting involved on campus, and making the most out of college, that’s what matters. It’s much better to have an awesome internship and have a “C” in a class than to have an “A” and not be learning from practical experience.
College for some is the best years of their life and the worst for others. Don’t be one of the people who look back at their college years and regret everything. Think of freshman year as a very expensive free trial. It’s a chance to try new things, make mistakes, and explore all kinds of opportunities. Take advantage of every opportunity and most importantly enjoy these years. There’s no other time quite like college.