Classes are well underway for my second semester here at Bloomsburg. The atmosphere arriving back at campus was slightly different for the spring semester as opposed to the fall.
In the fall I was a new student trying to make friends and find my place on campus, but now coming back for the second semester feels a little different. There were people on campus that I missed not seeing over break and moving back into the dorm was a family reunion opposed to the awkward few days of the fall semester.
Personally, the new spring semester has raised the difficulty in my classes. For the spring semester I scheduled my own classes, in contrast with my fall semester being scheduled for me. I am nearly done with my general education requirements due to AP classes in high school, which allowed me to take more advanced classes for my major.
The AP classes are a blessing and a curse. They are a blessing because I have more flexibility in my schedule, but they have the drawback of placing me in more difficult classes more quickly. Other than class difficulty, not much has changed for the spring semester. As stated previously, the initial transition back to campus is smoother but nearly the same people surround me and my same support system remains. I quickly immersed myself back into the clubs and organizations that I was involved with last semester.
The fall semester was the transition time. The time to learn how to balance friends, clubs, classwork and importantly, sleep. The routine was more or less established over last semester and the spring semester was like getting back on a bike after not riding for a while. After about a week, I was back in the same routine just this time needed to add a little more study time to succeed in more difficult classes.
This semester I am volunteering at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. I wanted to volunteer last semester, as I am on a pre-medical track, but I needed time to get used to college. I am glad that I waited a semester to try to volunteer, for the days that I volunteer are a little more hectic than I am used to.
The gradual transition period is in my opinion the best way to ensure success. As incoming freshman for the Fall 2014 semester at Bloomsburg, I would begin prepare first for the entrance exams. Review topics in math and English. The placement exams determine if you need to take review classes once you arrive on campus. The review classes will take us credits that could be used for general education or even classes in your major. They may not seem like they have much effect at first, but they may decrease the flexibility of your schedule.
Additionally I know being a science major, the math sequence is important and a person wants to place as high in math as they possibly can in order to stay on track with the math sequence. Another thing to consider is the foreign language placement exam.
If you took a foreign language in high school and are not interested in pursuing the language further, take the language exam. It will give a sense of accomplishment coming into college with part of your general education fulfilled! Even if you want to continue studying a language, still take the placement exam so that you are not placed in class that is below your current language level. Other than that enjoy the time before you arrive on campus!
Do not stress about meeting people or searching the website for the clubs that you want to join, all of that will fall into place once you arrive on campus.
- — Morgan Lewis is a biochemistry major with a pre-medical studies concentration.