It has been a relief being back on campus. As much as I did not want classes and homework to start again, I was happy to be back in my dorm and being around my friends again. I was really happy I came in on Saturday before the semester started to give a little extra time to reorient myself and get prepared for the new semester. I basically had three things on my to do list coming back: snacks, textbooks and sleep and I was able to get everything checked off before Monday came along.

Going into my second semester, I wanted to do a few things differently. I am not going to lie; my first week of my first semester of college was rough. Throughout my high school career, I was told by a lot of my teachers and mentors that college would be east. Unfortunately, this was definitely the mindset I had. I actually started questioning whether college was for me at first because nothing was the same as the high school workload. I felt silly for struggling with my courses, especially because throughout my high school career there were past students that came back and said college was a breeze for them.

This was my first mistake: thinking college was going to be easy. My mind set was the very first thing I wanted to change. Getting back to Albuquerque, I knew I wanted to hit the ground running. The biggest thing that caught me off guard was not making connections to the content I learned in high school. Now, I made sure the first classes I attended I took prior notes and print syllabi. Being prepared calmed me down a lot and I feel much better about this semester already.

I also made sure that my schedule was well balanced. Something that really wore me down the last semester was having classes really early and really late as well as piling on the extracurricular activities and clubs. This semester, I am still taking a full course load, but it is equally balanced between the days which has allowed me to not only find times for homework that isn’t one am in the morning but I also have enough time to check in with my friends and laugh a little (which is much more important than I originally thought).

One other thing that really has helped my course load this semester is taking a dance class. I have been a dancer for 15 years and last semester was the first time I hadn’t danced every day. I was pretty set on taking as many credits as possible that aligned with the course and my major department plan. But having this course in my schedule is a nice break and I really have rediscovered this passion. After the first class, I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt so calm and relaxed and ready to take on the next day of STEM classes.

Last semester was a total learning curve, but because of that, I feel so much better embarking on this next semester. With a prepared mindset and making sure I have time for myself to relax and enjoy these next few months. I hope you all are feeling excited!

Good luck this semester,

Anna