When you’re a sophomore in High School, college feels so far away: how are you supposed to know what you want your college years to look like? How are you supposed to even begin to evaluate what makes up the “perfect fit” university? How are you supposed to know what you want to major in, let alone do when you get out of college? Thinking about starting the college application process can feel daunting and distant. So, start small!
For incoming college students, college move-in is right around the corner! Something new that a lot of incoming college students will experience is living in the dorms and sharing a bathroom with roommates and potentially 30 to 40 strangers!
College classes are unquestionably different from high school. It’s hard to know if the study habits you had in high school will carry you through your classes in college. Personally, I never had much of a routine in high school. I went to class, took notes, did the homework, and reviewed assignments a couple of days before the exams. This may have helped when I was younger, but I definitely needed to develop new study habits when I began taking STEM courses at UC Berkeley.
Committing to a gap semester or year can be a difficult choice, and is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. Taking a gap semester can mean that you will graduate later than your peers, which means having to spend more money on housing. Making the decision without a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish during that semester or goals may not always be the best idea either.
When I was considering which colleges to apply to, research opportunities were a huge deciding factor. I had enjoyed science fairs and in-class lab experiments in high school, but I was ready to dive deep into a more intellectually stimulating environment - academic research. I knew that this would be the best way to apply all of my science education and gain experience for medical school. Let me give you some background about my research experience before going into some tips and tricks!