By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
For some of you, it’s your senior year! It’s time to crack open the books, study hard, get involved in as many organizations as you can, put out grad school and job applications, and start checking off those aspirations and dreams on your senior year bucket list.
If you are reading this, you are probably looking for ways to make time for everything during your special year. You want to make sure you have not forgotten that one picture with Arnie the Corsair, received that A you’ve been hoping for, went to that football game, and just experienced all that UMass Dartmouth has to offer.When starting the academic year, and especially for your big SENIOR one, I find it helpful to draw a checklist, or what I like to call the “Senior bucket list.” It contains everything you need in order to keep your grades up all while having fun and creating memories.
Step 1: Meet and Greet
You should always, always, always meet with your advisor early on in the Fall semester so you can pan out how your senior classes will fall. Are you missing anything? Let’s face it, we are seniors and we don’t want to be told on the last day of classes that we can’t graduate because we’re missing a class. Plus, this can help you maintain that close relationship with your advisor. This year you are going to especially need them on your side.
Step 2: Organize
Buy a planner and dry erase board, and write yourself a to- do list. This can help you to prioritize things, from “most important” to “it can wait till later.” Furthermore, this can help you carve out study time, work time, family and friend time, and you time. I also strongly recommend color coding. I mean, who doesn’t like pretty colors? I assign a different color for each task or class, that way it stands out when I go back to look at it.
Step 3: Cross your T’s and dot your I’s
Apply early to grad school or jobs. You want to enjoy your senior year, so make sure you get those applications done within the first couple of months, that way once it comes to the Spring semester, all that is left is to enjoy the rest of the year. You don’t want to stress at the end of your college experience!
Step 4: Join the Community
Get INVOLVED. Make sure you take advantage of all those campus-wide opportunities from events, organizations and clubs. Making memories your senior year is something you must make time for, because you will never have this opportunity again. It is those relationships you create, those moments of laughter and those certain snapshots or selfies you take that you are going to remember most, and be most thankful that you had the chance to do.
Step 5: Take 5
Give yourself a break. Make sure you are taking time for yourself. I recommend scheduling in time for exercise. Not only will it keep you fit, but it can act as a stress reliever. We have a gym right here on campus that provides us with a wide variety of classes and equipment. Some say that finding a work out buddy will help improve your exercise habits even more. I personally enjoy taking a stroll around Ring Road, a few laps around the track, and yoga class for exercise.
Step 6: Eat, Sleep, Play repeat…well, sort of!
Make sure that in-between your studies and social life you are eating well-balanced meals and snacks. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. I know I could never leave the house without something in my stomach even if it is just an energy bar. However, make sure you are paying attention to the amount of sugar being placed in those bars. For some of them, eating a candy bar would be better! I recommend Luna Bars, Cliff Bars, Nugo and Nature Valley. I am no nutritionist, but I know that these bars provide you with a healthy balance of all the nutrients you need. Also, make sure you are setting your alarm and getting your z’s. In order for you to be at your most alert, you need rest. By getting an adequate amount of rest and healthy food to fuel you, you will have more energy during the day.
Step 7: Pull an All Nighter
If you haven’t done so already, try it! And no, I do not mean hanging out with your buddies all night. You have not experienced college if you have not stayed up doing some project. This calls for a cup of coffee, of course not decaf, and all your favorite snacks!
Step 8: Play Tourist at UMass Dartmouth
Even though it is your senior year, I can say for a fact that there are still places on campus you have yet to learn about or see. Try taking out your campus map and also stay up to date with UMass Dartmouth’s various Facebook pages. Here you will be able to find out more about the buildings, clubs, organizations, classes, resources, and events that are made available to you in the blink of an eye.
Step 9: Study Hard
You have worked so hard and come this far to let “senioritis” affect your abilities to soar. Keep up with all your assignments and get them done ASAP. I feel that getting your homework done right after class is your best bet. The information is fresh in your mind and then you don’t have to worry about not having it done the day it is due. Trust me, it is way more relaxing when you can go into your weekend knowing that your school work is done.
Step 10: Senior On!
Have fun and never lose sight of the person you are and where you are going. Make plans with your family and friends and enjoy this new journey of your senior year. Now, go conquer that checklist while you can!