My first semester of college was filled with a lot of work, stress, new knowledge, and new experiences. However, most importantly, my first semester of college was filled with a lot of growth both as a student and as a person; I grew more independent and more able to advocate for myself. I met many very intelligent and inspiring people who encouraged me to work harder to reach my goals. I really enjoyed having gotten the chance to meet and work with this people. I also enjoyed everything that I learned from those people and from the classes that I took. I learned that college is just a whole different world where one has to think at a much higher level. Lastly, I learned to view the world and my experiences through different eyes.
However, although I felt like I improved during my first semester, there is always room for improvement. This was definitely true for my first semester of college. As much as I tried and as hard as I worked to prepare myself for college, I soon found out that my preparation had not actually been enough; I struggled more with school this past semester than I had in a very long time. At first this was highly stressful and somewhat discouraging. However, with the help from advisors, tutors, and my peers, I was able to gradually improve my performance. Although I still have a lot of work left, I was able to pull myself up to a much higher level. However, this would not have been possible if I had not been so willing to seek help and to work much harder than I had in high school. If I could go back and give myself advice in August when I first started college, I would tell myself to not procrastinate, to not get discouraged, to use the student learning center more, to learn how to take tests under time pressure, and to manage my time better.
This upcoming semester, I plan on making all of these changes in order to improve my academic performance. However, I also want to get more involved in clubs. I feel like these are great opportunities to grow as a leader and to build connections. However, due to the fact that I was struggling with my transition into college, I ended up not getting as involved as I had planned to. Hopefully during this new semester, I will be able to successfully implement all of these changes so that I can get good grades but also take advantage of all the other wonderful opportunities found on campus.
– Fabiola, UC Berkeley ’15