A student’s second year of college means making lots of decisions about majors, careers, and many other aspects of a student’s life. Making sure everything is in order as soon as possible can help prevent students from having to extend the amount of time spent in college, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and personal finances.
Create and Refine a Degree Plan
Also known as a four year plan or graduation plan, a degree plan helps students stay on track by visually organizing all of a student’s required classes. This plan can also help students see in advance that an extra quarter, semester, or year of schooling is required in order to complete all of the school’s necessary graduation requirements.
After deciding on a major during the first year of college, a student should sit down with the school’s course catalog and determine when classes can be and need to be taken. Students should also take into account jobs, internships, studying abroad, and other necessary time commitments when creating this plan and make sure that these are all taken into account when determining a course load.
Develop a Time Management Routine
As students enter upper level courses, the work associated with individual classes becomes more and more time consuming. After throwing jobs, internships, and other commitments into the mix, it becomes more and more easy to lose sight of the reason why a student is in college: to get an education.
Buying a planner or a monthly desk calendar can help a student visualize what needs to be done and when busy periods are coming up. Writing down assignments, meetings, work schedules, and special events such as dates or vacations can help a student visualize everything and see just how much time is or is not available for specific tasks, such as studying.
Build a Resume
Resumes are for more than just applying for jobs after graduation. They are also needed for internships, graduate school, scholarships, and sometimes for admission into honor societies or to attend professional conferences.
Students should schedule an appointment with their academic advisor or the school’s career services office if they need help writing and building a resume. From there, students should keep a running resume, or one that lists all college activities, honors, jobs, and references all in one place. Keeping one of these on hand makes creating future resumes easy. All students will have to do is transfer relevant information to a new document and print out the needed number of copies.
Decide on Graduate School
While the second year is still early in a student’s college career, graduate school is an important decision that needs to be made soon. Whether wanting to study law, medicine, architecture, or creative writing, there are many things that need to be done during the last two years of college to ensure a smooth transition between college and graduate school. If a student has questions, schedule an appointment with a school’s academic advising office for a session.
A student’s second year of college is a busy time when many important decisions need to be made. However, a student can still be successful with a little planning and organization that will help during the last few years of college.