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8 Things to Do During Your First Semester at Pacific

Anne Marie H. BergtholdOct 20, 2016

Jamie Legaspi '18Andy Szeto '18, Michaela Vachuska '18 and Milana Vachuska '18 share their advice for getting the most out of your first semester at Pacific.

1) Get to you know your professors

Michaela Vachuska: "They are an incredibly helpful resource and will give you great advice if you find yourself struggling."

Milana Vachuska: "The faculty here at Pacific are friendly, available and dedicated to the success of their students. This became apparent to me after my first tour of this campus. Not only are they super friendly and hilarious, but they can also help you through more difficult concepts. While it might seem intimidating at first, I promise it will be worth it."

2) Get to know yourself

Milana Vachuska: "Get involved, attend speaker events and establish a routine that works for you. There is no 'cookie-cutter' approach [...] you are going to have to adapt!"

3) Go to class

Szeto: "The first step in learning the material is to expose yourself to it. Repeated exposure helps cement concepts in your mind."

Milana Vachuska: "I find that for every hour I spend being attentive in class, I save about three hours of toiling over the material. Don't skip class, it's a trap!"

4) Relax

Legaspi: "Find what makes helps you de-stress. Give yourself a time to relax and enjoy things you love to do."

Szeto: "School, leadership and community service are important, so is taking time for yourself. Make sure you don't burn yourself out and remind yourself that you deserve to unwind once in a while. The key to success is balance, everything in moderation."

Michaela Vachuska: "My friends have 'casual Fridays' where we just hang out, socialize, eat and watch TV. It was always a great way to de-stress so I could be as productive as possible over the weekend!"

5) Stay positive

Michaela Vachuska: "It is important to celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect!"

Milana Vachuska: "Being in the company of good friends helps me to keep a positive attitude during stressful or draining times."

6) Join a student organization

Legaspi: "Don't be afraid to take risks when it comes to joining clubs and organizations. On the other hand, only go for something if you have a passion for it, rather than doing it just to fluff up your resume."

7) Use a calendar

Szeto: "With the plethora of organizations, committees and other extracurricular activities on top of academics, it is very easy to be overwhelmed. Put everything into an accessible planner to ensure you don't miss any appointments and have ample time to prepare for projects or events."

8) Dress professionally

Michaela Vachuska: "While it is not required, it could be helpful in making an impression while you are still new to campus!"

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