Snow days when you’re a child are all about running outside to build a snowman or sled down the big hill you were too scared to go near last year. In college they’re called lets-sit-in-sweatpants-drink-coffee-and-catch-up-on-homework days. Granted, they are still welcome with open arms just for other reasons. Last week was our first week of classes and the professors didn’t waste any time. I thought I’d just be getting syllabi all week and the real work would start the next week, boy was I wrong!
Day one was like we had been working on this subject for months already. This made my week a little more challenging than I had planned. I realized very quickly that I am out of the student mindset and I need to buckle down and remember how to be a great student. It was kind of like the feeling I had after spending the summer post high school graduation having fun with all my friends because we didn’t know when we’d all see each other again. I had no idea what college classes were like and I had lost a lot of my study skills very quickly because my mindset had changed in those few short months.
After spending the semester working every day and working at my own speed on my capstone project it was just a little shocking remembering how fast college courses move. The days leading up to my first classes I tried to make sure I was as prepared as possible. I added my classes to my calendar on my phone and on my whiteboard calendar. When I got my syllabi I made sure to put the long term assignments into my planner with plenty of reminders so I can stay ahead in all my classes.
One thing I love about being an upperclassmen at a small school is no matter what subject my class is, I usually know and am friends with at least one person in the class. Having a friend to sit next to is always helpful. I always suggest to first year students to find a friend in the class that way if you get sick and miss class you have someone to get the notes from and when you need a study buddy around final exams, you have a friend to hang out with in the library. Having more minds working together always helps me learn more because I find it helpful to have multiple points of view.
Today’s snow day allowed me to read ahead for my literature class and work on my capstone project which was a very welcome group of tasks since I have many extra activities coming up in the next few weeks. Getting ahead in classes is always a good idea as well and easier to do than in high school because most professors will give out a list of assignments and their due dates at the beginning of the semester and do their best to stick to the plan.
Snow days in college are fun and useful. We still find time to sled down our great golf course that doubles as the best sledding in the county and the quad is a perfect spot to build snow people.