Honest college advice from a graduating senior
After six years of undergrad, you learn a thing or two
With a little over 2 months left until graduation day I've been reflecting quite a bit on my time in college. I get nostalgic every time I walk into the English building, Denny Hall, trying not to think about how much I'll miss an old building with a crappy heat and air conditioning system.
I've been working toward my Bachelor of Arts for six years now. Those six years span 3 different schools, and Ohio State is the last stop on a journey I didn't think would take this long. This is the best advice I can leave you with.
It's not the end of the world if you don't graduate in four years
I used to let myself get hung up on this minor inconvenience too often. It felt as if I was behind and playing catch-up with everyone else who already had a full-time job at 22 and a nice apartment. Don't let those people fool you into thinking they're better off than you are because they graduated "on time".
Chances are many of those people still feel as lost as you. The current degree requirements at most colleges make it nearly impossible to graduate in 4 years–unless you take 15 credit hours every semster. There's no shame in taking your time.
Make your mental and physical health a priority
Nothing is more important than your mental well-being. Make time for fun between studying for exams and going to work. Set aside one day a week for doing something that makes you happy or releases stress. It can be whatever you want. Go to the gym, read a book unrelated to class, or watch a movie with your friends.
Establishing a routine will help you avoid unnecessary stress. It isn't fun to start assignments weeks before they're due, but all-nighters aren't fun either. If you're having trouble understanding something, ask your professor, don't let things slide until you're completely lost.
Get involved in student organizations
Being a commuter made it difficult for me to commit to becoming a member of a student organization. Making meetings alone would have been impossible between class and work.The Tab ended up being perfect for me because I can write anywhere.
Go to the involvement fair even if you're not a freshman and find something you're interestd in. Go to one meeting and see what it's all about.
Study abroad if you have the chance
My first year at OSU I lucked out and the English Department was offering my dream study abroad program. There's a location and program for everyone, even if it has nothing to do with your major. Going abroad and experiencing another country is a truly unique experience.
I was worried about funding my trip because like a lot of students I rely on financial aid to help pay for school. Don't let the cost discourage you though, there are plenty of scholarships and advisors in the OIA to help you.
Take advantage of office hours
We all feel overwhelmed and cofused by a class eventually. Don't be that stubborn person who refuses to get help if you need it, that's why your professor has office hours. Most professors are really helpful especially when it comes to writing long papers and grasping concepts you're having trouble getting the hang of.
No one is above getting help, especially if sucking it up and talking to your professor is the difference between passing or failing.
I can't say I regret any of my decisions, but if I had a second chance to do undergrad there are a few things I might do differently. Maybe you can learn a thing or two from this super super senior.