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Lessons Learned From My First Semester Of College

Hey there Raptors! We are so, so close to the end of the first semester, and if that doesn’t make you want to jump for joy, I don’t know what will. December 16th will mark the official end of my first semester of college, and even though I’m exhausted and completely schooled out, I can honestly say that this first half of the year was one of my best yet. Here are some practical yet relatable bits of wisdom that I have accumulated during my first few months of being a Montgomery College student.

Make use of the free resources. I was absolutely mind-blown when I discovered how many things are accessible to MC students at little to no cost. I encourage you to take advantage of professor office hours, free libraries, online textbooks, and much more. This is not common at other community colleges, let alone at four year universities, so it’s great to make use of everything while you’re here.

Every professor is different. It’s good to recognize this right away. Each professor has his/her own unique teaching style, and it’s crucial to remember that what may work for one may not necessarily work for the other. Take time to understand and befriend your professor; it will 100% help you in the long run.

Get up early. I’ve always been a morning person which has, admittedly, confused a lot of people. However, when school rolled along, I found it more and more difficult to get up early and head to my 9 a.m. class, just because I simply couldn’t be bothered to actually learn. My advice? Just do it. It will give you so much more free time during the day and help you catch up on missed assignments and homework. Besides, there’s nothing a cup of coffee can’t fix.

Form study groups. I found this to be increasingly helpful throughout the semester, especially during tests and finals. Not only do study groups clarify things, they also help you catch up on missed work.

Hold your own hand. This was the hardest for my to come to terms to. I’ve been lucky enough to always have a friend or family member to lean on when times get tough, but when I was cramming for midterms, slumping over my wooden desk, halfway through my 9th cup of coffee for the day, I realized that no one was going to get me through this semester but myself. Although times (and tests) may get tough, it’s important to always believe in yourself, as cliche as that sounds.

Well, there you have it, MC! Another year is coming to a close, and 2019 is soon to begin. It’s been a pleasure writing for you all this semester, and let’s use this break to recharge and take on the new year like never before. Happy finals, Raptors, and see you in 2019!

Anika LaVina

My name is Annika La Vina (pronounced like Monica without the M). I am 20 years old, and I am currently a new student at MC. I love all kinds of sports and am super into fitness - catch me running on the side of Rockville Pike on a sunny day! In addition, I love reading and writing and have been an avid writer since elementary school. I dabble in all kinds of major writing forms - fictional, academic and now, blogging!
After high school, I traveled and worked around the world for two years. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, but most of all, it was rewarding. Not only did I experience new cultures and meet tons of people, I also realized several things about myself - the most important being that I needed to go back to school.
It’s frightening - super frightening actually - to embark on a new stage in life. However, you’re not alone. Join me in my newest, weirdest, scariest, most exciting adventure yet - college!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Great tips all of them, but the last one is really important and why so many new to college students fail. Unlike high school, nobody will hold your hand and it’s up to you to manage your own, time, study habits, etc. Excuse making won’t do the trick!

  2. MC has a lot of treasures for sure and i definitely miss my time there. I enjoy reading your blogs 🙂

    Lots of love,
    Ray Ann V.

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