Stay Ahead: My Tips

College is not what I expected it would be. It’s a path full of obstacles, where each challenge feels more difficult than its predecessor. I’m not saying that I expected my college career to be a breeze, but it seems like it is requiring a little more planning to guarantee success (and a timely graduation). My personal path is different from anyone else’s, but I still feel that some of this advice can be valuable.

My major, like any other, has some specific course requirements. I adore what I am studying, so most of the courses are not a problem. However, I am struggling quite a bit with math, and I need to pass several higher-level math courses in order to graduate. This is my main concern at the moment. In order to combat this, I have been taking two math courses over the summer at a different institution. So this is my first tip: take advantage of your summer. Whether you decide to work, get an internship, and/or take a few classes, make the most of this time. Don’t stress yourself out, but you can definitely enjoy your summer while being productive at the same time.

I have decided that I would like to earn a minor to accompany my major. Well, the minor I have interest in is not an easy one to obtain because it has several requirements. I have to make sure that I fulfill the amount of credits I have to earn. Here comes tip #2: plan ahead. If you have an idea of which courses you must take before you graduate, try to map out when you will take those courses. Make sure that you are able to fit everything in during the remainder of your time at school so that your expected graduation date does not change.

Something else I would like to do within the next year requires me to take a leave of absence from my university for one semester. Because of this, I will be missing out on valuable time to earn credits. Besides using your summers to rack up extra credits, you can become a teacher’s assistant (tip #3). Depending on your institution, TAs can either earn money or credit. Additionally, this is a great way to gain experience leading a course you’ve already mastered.

I am not an expert on finances, but I can speak from experience when I discuss tip #4: get a job at school and save your money. Most importantly, get a job that makes you the most money you can in the time you have allotted. My schedule is booked as it is, so I do my best to make the most out of my free time. Having an impactful and worthwhile job is definitely one way to use your time wisely.

In the current stage of my life, this is what I am focused on. Everyone has different goals and challenges which require other solutions. However, if you are in college, I hope this advice was somewhat helpful.


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