Congratulations if you are finishing your first year of college. With moving away from home, and the temptations of your new-found freedom, it was no easy feat.
These are just some things to think about as the year comes to a close. I know that my grades could have been better, but I say that each and every semester. I joined a new organization in the past semester, and I plan on becoming a more active member next semester.
However your year turned out, you have the power to make the rest of your college experience anything you want it to be.
Academics: Did you get the grades you wanted? Why or why not? Classes will be a little bit more difficult next year. How can you continue this trend or make some improvements for next year? The further you go along, the harder it is to raise your GPA. Also, where do you stand in regard to entering your chosen degree program? Have you fulfilled all the general requirements?
Professional Development: Have you made a connection with at least one or two professors this year? Professors can be invaluable resources for everything from letters of recommendation to networking. Have you decided on a major? Are you still sure about the major you have chosen? In the first years at college, it is still very easy to switch degree programs if you change your mind.
Involvement: Did you become involved somehow on the campus or in the community? Are you going to continue these activities? How can you enhance these activities next year? You might decide to take upon a leadership role in an organization you are a part of. What other ways do you plan on becoming involved?
Relationships: Did you make at least one good friend? Is this person someone you will keep in touch with over the summer months? A lot of people make lifelong friends in college. I am not saying you should judge your college experience by the number of friends you make, but just think about the quality of those in your inner circle.
It can be difficult to label a school year as a success or not. Hopefully, if you look back on all the fun you had during the year, you will deem the year a success. I know I would. It is important do some mature self-reflection to assess what things went well and what things did not go well for you during the school year. This way, it will be easier for you to set and meet goals for the upcoming school year.