Things to Do Before Your Senior Year
As my last quarter at UCI is approaching, I have gone through many trials and errors that have taught me valuable lessons. Here are some of the rawest tips and secrets that I am glad to share with you all:
1) Be involved
Join clubs that align with your hobbies and interests, or participate in professional clubs that can provide you with insights about your major and future career. If you are interested in leadership and improving the student body, consider ASUCI. Apply for research. Spend time volunteering or shadowing the professions that you are curious about. The possibilities are endless at UCI.
2) Find a part-time job
Whether it is an internship related to your major or any on-campus/ off-campus job. This opportunity will enrich your resume and broaden your skills, whether professional, communication, interpersonal or social. I earned my first paycheck in college and the experience really taught me the value of hard-work, money, diligence, and appreciation for my parents.
3) Get to know your professors
Knowing your professors will open up many doors, such as potential letters of recommendation for graduate schools, research opportunities, networking, advice, etc. I, myself, graduated from a private high school where the senior class only consisted of 150 students. As I used to sit in a classroom of 20 students maximum, transitioning to a lecture hall of 300-400 students was quiet daunting (class size varies depending on majors). If raising your hand during class is scary, go to the professor’s office hours or set up one-on-one meetings with them.
4) Find yourself a group of friends
They will be your core mental and social support during your years at UCI. They will be the ones who “suffer” through all the classes with you, become your venting outlet, and are importantly, your memories of college.
5) Take care of yourself
Whether it is your physical or mental health. College is a bumpy road with lots of ups and downs. Please make sure to take care of yourself. Treat yourself out to your favorite/ home-cooked restaurants. Make frequent calls to your parents or visit them if possible. Despite mental health being a taboo in some cultures, don’t be afraid to seek professional help or utilize on-campus resources.
Even though these suggestions come from my personal experience, I urge you all to be bold, be adventurous, and be courageous. Step out of your comfort zone and do things that you never thought you would do or got a chance to do in high school (but don’t be risky nor do things that put your safety at risk). As cheesy as this might sound, college is the time to find yourself, learn to live independently, discover your likes and dislikes, and hopefully figure out your passion as well as career path. It will be one of the most stressful periods of your life but don’t be discouraged! College is going to be memorable and worthy only if you put in the effort. For now, rock on, baby Anteaters!