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Senior Reflection: The Do’s and Don’ts of College 

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By: James Berridge, Lions Eye Staff Writer jrb1055@psu.edu and Paula Scott, Lions Eye Staff Editor pms5152@psu.edu

Senior year.  The time that we’ve all been looking forward to our entire college career.  I think it is safe to say that college is no easy task, and senior year is the most important of them all.  Deadlines, exams, internships, 400 level classes—worrying about all of these things is enough to make one’s head explode.  However, there are things that you can do throughout your freshman, sophomore, and junior years that might make your senior year a little less stressful.

Here are some dos and don’ts that will make your life much easier

Do- Take summer classes

Don’t- Take a year off

Taking time off from college, then going back, is one of the hardest things to do.  It’s important to stay committed to your education and finish on time.  This is also why taking summer classes may be beneficial.  By taking summer classes, you stay in the “school” mindset.  Once September rolls around, it’s not as hard to get back in the swing of things.

Do- Be organized

Don’t- Be a procrastinator

Organize your schedule early on and set aside time to be in the library. After receiving each course syllabus, highlight all the deadlines and put them into your planner. Saving all your assignments until the last minute will not only hinder your grade, but will increase your stress. The library is the best environment to be in to be the most productive. Use this resource to your advantage; become a regular.

Do- Take advantage of online classes

Don’t- Underestimate them

As a Penn State student, you can register for World Campus classes, so long as you’re taking more credits at Brandywine than you are online. Do take advantage of these courses if you need a class and they aren’t offering it at Brandywine that semester. Do not underestimate the course simply because it is online. Online classes may be more convenient but require you to be very organized and self-motivated. Yes, you don’t have to physically attend class, however, not following the syllabus and required reading can really put you behind. Just because a course is online, doesn’t mean group work is eliminated!

Do- Finish all of your gen eds before your senior year

Don’t- Wait until you senior year to take all 12 required credits of a language

Senior year is when you focus the most on your major.  Most of your classes are of the 300 and 400 level variety.  This means that these classes are the most difficult and take up a lot of your time.  It is much easier to get through senior year when you only have to focus on these classes and not worry about your gen. ed.
requirements.

Do- Manage your schedule wisely

Don’t- Take 22 or 24 credits the last semester of your senior year

It’s the hardest semester of your college career, and you’re taking well above the normal amount of credits in a semester. Not good!  It is important to finish each semester with at least 15 credits.  Although 12 credits may be considered “full-time,” it makes it very hard to graduate on time when only taking that amount.  The last thing you want is to be swamped with school work, your internship, and your personal everyday life during the most important semester of college.

Do- Take care of yourself

Don’t- Neglect your health

Nourish your body with wholesome food to fuel you through your day. Eating vending machine junk (that’s if they even work) will quickly give you energy, but will send you crashing. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. We’ve all heard it…listen to it. Don’t let stress get the best of you. Exercising regularly helps reduce stress levels and keeps your body and mind healthy.

Hopefully these tips can help you through your college education.  College will be part of some of your most memorable times in life.  Have fun, meet new people, but take it seriously.  Know when assignments are due, and hand them in on time.  Make your professor’s life easier, and in return, your own.

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