My first semester at NJIT feels like it was just yesterday. I’m now in the final leg of my sophomore year, and personally, my mental growth has seen noticeable improvements— something that I think many college students can relate to even if they don’t realize it. I’ve reached new levels of independence and motivation, but I’m still continuing to grow nonetheless. I want to impart some knowledge that will hopefully make the transition from high school to NJIT easier for you and will help shape you into the successful college student you hope to be.
One major change I’ve noticed since my freshman year of college has been my time management. I think it’s safe to say that I was struggling my first semester. I had trouble studying, and because of this, I would spend hours on end at a desk. I also didn’t participate in many organizations nor did I have a job. To combat this, I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos and read many articles on how to study effectively so I highly recommend doing research for anyone looking for new methods of studying to add to their toolkit. Using your professors as a resource is so crucial when you’re having trouble understanding your schoolwork— many professors at NJIT are more than willing to help their students. Some high-quality study methods I’ve learned are spaced repetition and active recall. Spaced repetition means studying in intervals to combat the ‘forgetting curve.’ Active recall is testing yourself, whether it’s verbally asking yourself questions or taking practice exams. But, one of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned is the Parkinson’s Law. This law states that work fills the time allotted to it. Basically, if you don’t set specific times in your days to study or do homework, then you will most likely be spending lots and lots of time doing that thing. Instead, fill your schedules, within reason, so you have to finish your academics within a set amount of time.
This leads to my next piece of advice: get involved in extracurricular activities or organizations that can be found on Highlander Hub or find a job so that you have something else to do other than academics. This may seem contradictory but when done well, it helps balance your life. During freshman year, join any and all clubs that interest you— go to the club fairs and the major/minor fairs that are hosted in the fall semesters. This way you can meet new people and see where your interests lie. Get to know these organizations and get involved in campus events. By sophomore year, you can identify the select organizations that you want to continue pursuing.
All in all, college, just like high school, goes by in a blink. Don’t spend all of your time stuck in the library hitting the books when you could be exploring new interests and meeting new people and still doing well in your academics. I hope these small changes can help make your NJIT career one to remember.