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Dragonmaster Offline
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I need some advice - January 22nd 2011, 02:34 AM

Hello there, first off I want to apologize if this type of thread has been done before. I tried using the search feature, in order to see if they were any similar posts that were like this.

But unfortunately, to my knowledge their weren't and so I proceeded to make this post.

But anyway, I know I'm rambling on, so I'll get to the point.

Primarily, I feeling quite anxious about college. But no chance is this my first semester. That had concluded December of last year.

What I'm now fretting upon is my second semester. Now, to understand my fear I need to enlighten you about how everything went my first semester.

To make a long point short, it went okay and I had managed to come out with a 3.23 GPA.

Whether that's good for a first semester freshman I have no clue, but in regards to my opinion I felt I could have done better.

With that in mind, I'm nervous that I might do worse this time around, even though I'm committed.

This insight also comes in light that many of my friends (both high school and college) claim that I'm over worrying and that I need to relax.

Plus, being that I'm undeclared I'm feeling more pressure now( somewhat from my parents), seeing as I have yet to discover a major.

Anyway, I apologize if this post was too long, but some advice on the matter would be most appreciative.
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Re: I need some advice - January 22nd 2011, 07:47 AM

Hey, i think that its you chose whether you do college and what you do, I think a bit of nerves is always good and alot of the time is due to excitment aswell.
Do you want to go back to college? Or are you going due to pressure?
Feel free to PM me if you want to take
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Hiraeth Offline
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Re: I need some advice - January 25th 2011, 04:21 AM

Hey there,

Fellow freshman in second semester here. I've been told by so many people over and over again that anything in the B range or above is fantabulous (yes, for the lack of a better exaggerative term) - but personally, I could never accept anything below a 3.5 GPA. One becomes accustomed to high standards, especially from back in high school - although it is true that the two are not exactly comparable. I have courses where one single essay is worth 50% of final grade - and considering how inherently difficult it is to ace essays in general (for me and most folks I know, anyhow) - aiming for a B is more than reasonable. I don't know about you - but grading schemes were definitely structured to make high marks easier to obtain, in high school.

Also, how you perform this semester may not matter as much in the long run, depending on where you end up going after your degree - I've had plenty of people mention that first-year grades are weighted very little when applying to grad schools - and certainly, if you seek employment in the business world, it would matter almost not at all. Of course, that doesn't mean you shouldn't still put for your best effort, as there are still benefits to doing so (scholarships, etc) - however, it's okay if the results don't entirely match up to expectation.

And, yes, what I've discovered after coming here, is that the vast majority of people I've encountered are exceptionally laid back and chilled out when it comes to their academic and career prospects. I'm sure this is disproportionately the case in freshman year, though. Spending more time around these people actually helped me quite a bit - become more laid back, worry and fear less, and enjoy these four years to the best of my ability - it is certainly a unique time in one's life. Everything works out somehow eventually - but if one spends all one's time worrying about the future, one misses out on the present - on the moment, which is where life is really happening.

Being undeclared is also perfectly okay - you are definitely not alone in that. Many people take years to figure out what they really want to do. Some end up changing their majors later on, and start right back at first-year level courses all over again - too. But all of that is fine, as long as you do whatever feels most right to you. Whatever comes naturally, and not as the result of pressure and the need to just settle for any random major for the sake of having one.

Your friends have a good point. Worrying less is beneficial to mental health in general, which can help you perform more efficiently in your studies, and so forth - although I know how difficult it can be to initially break out of that tendency. As I say, what helped me was surrounding myself with fellow students with a very laid back attitude, and allowing some of that to influence my own.

Something you could look into, is meeting with an academic advisor - they would be able to help you with study skills or at least direct you to the relevant resources, and exploring your options with regards to potential majors.

Hang in there, and good luck! I'm sure you can succeed.

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Re: I need some advice - January 25th 2011, 06:13 AM

I'm in fourth year out of 5 years at university and a common phenomenon is that first year is the worst year in terms of marks. If you plan to go to graduate school, medical school, law school and other furthering of education, most of it doesn't care about your first-year marks. Obviously they have a big impact on later years. In first year, there's no real reason to declare your major and most places don't require it. Some say you should but you haven't explored the university yet, you're still figuring out what to do just to stay in, so declaring your major isn't necessary.

Excessive worrying can be harmful to your health and ultimately, to your marks. Some worrying is fine but excessive amounts is not. I've seen it as I did some TA-ing for some first-year students so I know first-years generally are worried about their marks. There's no real advice I've ever been able to give to others or myself, other than just keep going and you'll find it becomes easier and usually more enjoyable, which it does. Get into a study group and work with them. You can try to talk with an academic advisor. I've tried a few times, they weren't useful for me although they were to some of my friends.

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