Sophomore Year Update: The Good and the Bad

sophomore

by Ariana

It’s my third semester of college and let me tell you: It does not always get easier.

Unfortunately this reality has been tough to face. The initial weeks of school were pretty calm, but after those manageable weeks I began to get bombarded with papers, group projects, exams. School started to feel like a never-ending uphill battle.

Although this fall has been tough, I keep myself motivated by telling myself that I am almost half way to graduation. I have been setting weekly goals and writing positive notes on my board – and this is something I would highly recommend. I wake up extremely early and seeing those positive words and weekly goals helps me start the day, which now starts at 5:30 a.m. five days a week!

My roommate and I go to the gym every day at 6 a.m., which is the best time for me to go because of my schedule and because starting my day with my workout means more energy for the rest of my day.

But though school has definitely been more work this semester, it has also gotten better in other ways.

I am now living in an apartment instead of the dorms, which also was a bit of a transition, but now I have a kitchen, and with a kitchen comes learning how to cook, which has been more fun than I ever thought it would be. Plus no more gross dining hall food, and no more repeat of the freshman 15! My roommates and I also have a nice big living room, which is a great place to study and invite some of our friends over to as well.

Coming back to school I have also felt a stronger sense of comfort while walking in the halls. I not only know where I am going in life, but also where my next class is. I also feel more confident in my ability to handle change within my different classes and in talking to my professors and asking questions in lecture halls.

So maybe this is something that comes with time, or maybe I am behind in feeling this way?

Either way, I know this feeling is a good one. One thing that I do know is that sophomore year has been a whirlwind. My advice to you is to be ready and stay positive!

Until next time!

-Ariana

Down to the Minute

A Beginner’s Guide to Time Management

clock

by Natalie

College, not unlike all other stages of life, requires amazing skills of patience, scheduling, finagling, and, most importantly, time management.  In my first semester at Concordia I was taking 18 academic credits and working 5 hours a week for a small stipend as an intern in the theatre department, as well as balancing a full-fledged romantic relationship and a role in the musical, Les Miserables.

This semester, however, is a little different.  First, I stopped working in the theatre department because it didn’t pay enough and it wasn’t a good fit for me as far as scheduling hours went.  Second, I’m only taking 15 credits this semester, as I started taking an elective class about lighting design that proved to be too much to chew.  Third, I picked up a job working at Target.  I work 10-20 hours a week, folding clothes and working the cash registers.  And, on top of all of that, this semester, a friend of mine was hospitalized and I spent a good chunk of time being there for her.

I like to think of everything in my life as a class with a credit number.

  • My boyfriend, Nick, is a 4-credit course.
  • My role in Les Mis was two 4-credit courses; it took up about as much time as 2 full academic classes and I put in extra work on show weekends.
  • My job in the theatre department was a 1-credit course.
  • My job at Target is a 4-credit course.
  • My friend in the hospital was a 2-credit course.
  • My Netflix habit is definitely a 2-credit course at least.
  • My social life at large is probably about a 2-credit course as well (if we don’t include Nick and my friend in the hospital).

Assuming I did my math correctly (which is not a safe assumption), I came out with 35 credits last semester and 29 this semester.  So why did last semester seem so much easier than this semester has been so far?

Well folks, it comes down to how well I’ve been managing my time.  Last semester, I kept myself to a strict schedule that documented what I had planned 24/7.  I would wake up, go to breakfast, go to class, do chores, go to my next 2 classes, do homework, go to choir, get dinner, watch an episode of whatever series I was working on in Netflix, go to rehearsal, do homework, hang out with Nick, go to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

This semester I haven’t handled my time in the conservative fashion I did last semester.  I have been waking up, going to class, getting lunch with friends, dilly dallying all the way to my next two classes, going to choir, getting dinner, going to work, coming home and going to bed.  On the days that I don’t have classes (Tuesday and Thursday this semester), instead of getting up and taking care of business, I sleep in really late, waste a whole bunch of time on Buzzfeed, eventually do some homework, eat dinner, go to work, hang out with Nick, hang out with other friends, stay up really late doing the homework I’ve been putting off, and then, finally, getting to bed.

The moral of this story, dear readers, is to take care of your time in college.  Ration it, split it up, portion it, and schedule it.  Make it work for you, not against you.  Working out a routine might seem mundane and boring but it is so beneficial when you set aside an hour and a half here, 45 minutes there to get your homework done.

College isn’t just going to class, and working a job so you can pay your tuition.  College isn’t just parties and friends and good times.  College is hard.  It’s hard work, it’s a lot of work and it takes a lot of time.  Time management is the best way to handle the barrage of knowledge and experience you’ll get hit with in college.

You might seem a little crazy at first when you have your day planned down to the minute but you’ll feel less stressed, more motivated, and you’ll learn how to be accountable to yourself and to others.  Time is money and we’ll all need to pay off our student loans someday.