Advice on Balancing Activities and Academics as a Freshman

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The first year of college is an exciting opportunity for students to explore new topics in the classroom, and to find extracurricular activities that interest them. For this installment of our summer series, we asked students what activities they participated in as freshmen. They also shared advice on finding a balance in a student’s busy schedule.

“I participated in Cornhuskin’ and I was the co-chair of the Freshmen Fire and Water Dinner. I had to learn to balance my time between schoolwork, my commitments with Meredith, and having fun with my friends. To be involved and succeed academically, you need to know your limits. I had to set limits on how much I could take on so that my academics and friendships did not suffer.” —Abigail Lorentzen, ’16

“I tried to attend many interesting lectures and  events, and to get involved in clubs. It helped me feel at home on campus.” — Alla Akiyeva, ’16

“I was a member of Angels Against Trafficking, Sisters United, the Interfaith Council, and Meredith Hues Organization. The hardest part of being a member of these clubs was that the meetings sometimes happened on the same date. If that ever happens, make sure you email the leaders of the clubs you missed so that you can stay in the loop with what was discussed that day. If you have an exam to study for, don’t feel obligated to attend a club gathering or volunteer event. There will be plenty of other opportunities to go in the future.”—Melissa Jenkins, ’17

“As a freshman I participated in as many activities as I could from Cornhuskin’ to Junior Day. Any way that I could participate, whether it was for fun or promoting Meredith, I wanted to be there. I would put all the dates for things on my calendar so that I would not overbook myself.”--Nicole Benjamin, ’17

“I participated in events for clubs I was in, such as Experience Meredith, Junior Visitation day, Senior Visitation day, Salsa dancing, women’s leadership conference, and fundraising. I balanced it all out with good time management skills. I wrote it down on my planner/phone to remind me and I made sure I set aside hours to be able to attend the events.” —Daniela Carrillo Lopez, ’17

“As a freshman, I volunteered a lot around campus, and was a part of The Colton Review, Meredith Fashion Association, Extra Theatre Company, Alpha Lambda Delta, Meredith Anime Angels, and Poetry Vybe as well as being involved in Cornhuskin’. I balanced everything by utilizing my time management skills through taking advantage of my breaks in between classes and prioritizing which things I felt were more important at the time.”—Jessica Boyd, ’16

“I attended numerous meetings at different organizations to get a feel for what I was truly interested in getting involved with. As a result, I was a part of Residence Housing Association freshman year, and now I am the chair of the organization! I also participated in freshman traditions, such as Cornhuskin’ and Fire & Water committee. Trying out numerous traditions and activities helped me learn how to balance my schedule. I learned where and where not it was best for me to study, how long to study, and better study tips to help me succeed in whatever subject I was studying.”  —Ashley Byrnes, ’16

“I looked for clubs and organizations that fit my personality and experiences I wanted out of my college experience. At the Activities Fair at the beginning of the year, I became involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and ASID, an organization for interior design majors. I was also involved with Cornhuskin’. It’s a great tradition! In my involvement I learned when meetings and different activities were held. Through this I was able to organize my schedule and fit my work around when I needed to meet. Getting involved is a great way to make new friends and to find a place. I’ve loved it!”—Rachel Anne Phelps, ’16

“I participated in tons of activities with the music department as a freshman. I sang in Chorale, and played in the orchestra, as well as playing in the orchestra for the musical. I got involved in things like Campus Crusade, and meeting so many wonderful women through First Year Experience (FYE). I spent a lot of time freshman year making friends, and hanging out with them. Balancing everything you want to do is difficult, but certainly doable. It’s all about prioritizing and time management, and to be completely honest, I’m still learning what that means even as a senior at Meredith.” —Sara Owens, ’15

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