Student Advice on Balancing Classes and Activities Freshman Year

As part of our summer series of student advice, Meredith’s Office of Admissions asked a group of rising sophomores, juniors and seniors to share tips about balancing their classes and extracurricular activities during freshman year.

This week’s question: “What activities did you participate in as a freshman? How did you balance your schedule?

•“As a freshman I was a representative for Honor Council, a member of Nu Delta Alpha, and participated in DanceWorks in the spring. I made sure I allotted a certain amount of time each day for my homework, activities and relaxing. You have to make sure you don’t burn out.”—Angel Jackson, ’13

• “My first semester, I went to a few club meetings, and ended up doing designing for the Colton English club and then working a bit with Catholic Angels and Meredith’s newspaper. At the end I became a rep for Student Life Committee. I learned to balance by just being sure I was only doing what I wanted, what made me happy - but sometimes you have to realize that just because you like something, it may not be adding much to your life.” – Kristen Gallagher, ’13

•“I was heavily involved in student government as elections board representative for the Association of Meredith Commuters and senator for the class of 2013. I also took advantage of the Meredith-Reads program and became a volunteer off campus at Duke Hospital. Taking 16 credits and becoming involved on campus and in the community was challenging but rewarding. The more I keep myself busy, the more I was able to take advantage of the time that I set aside for studying and preparing for classes—it was an excellent combination of study time and extracurricular involvement and not to mention, my freshman year paved the path very well for the rest of my college career.”—Pooja Ghai, ’13

•“This past year I participated in soccer as well as the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and I was a member of the honors program and volunteering with an off campus organization. It was definitely tough to balance my schedule but I was sure to use any free time I had in the most efficient way possible.” – Megan Amanatides, ’15

•“My freshman year I participated in Meredith Hues, which is an awesome multi-cultural program and we spent most of our time going to college fairs and telling prospective students about Meredith. It was a very fun and program and I am glad that I participated, and if you do get the invite to join TAKE IT! Luckily for me Hues only met about once a month so it did not interfere with my schedule too much and even if it did Anna always made sure to plan meetings that accommodated everyone. Also, balancing a schedule is a delicate art; you must learn to master your time in order to have harmonious balance in scheduling. I personally took to writing events on my calendar so I always knew what I could and could not do around campus.” — Christina Barnhart, ’15

•“Freshman year I was involved in the Honors Program, the American Society of Interior Designers and Habitat for Humanity.”—Elizabeth Oates, ’13

•“I participated in the Honors Program, Cornhuskin’, and Campus Crusade. I scheduled a lot and made sure to make time for myself as not to get overwhelmed by everything.”—Mary Rawls, ’13

•“As a freshman, I participated in many clubs and organizations. I joined the Meredith Fashion Association to get to know women in the same major and with the same interest as myself. I also was a representative of the Meredith Hues, which got me excited to learn more about Meredith and become what I believed was a face of Meredith College students. Outside of Meredith’s activities and organizations, I worked part-time in a retail store as well as attended Campus Crusade for Christ over at NC State on Thursday nights. I think for me, it was nice to keep busy so that I wouldn’t stay cooped up in my room. It helped me get out of bed and go out and do something fun! I got to know more people by putting myself out there and getting to know other students that were similar to me.”—Melissa de Leon, ’14

•“The Dance Studies major at Meredith provides many opportunities for students to be involved. My freshman year, I participated in DanceWorks (our spring performance), Hog Call during Cornhuskin’, and Fire and Water Dinner. I was only in three dances for DanceWorks, so rehearsals did not interfere with my school work since I did not take many classes my first year. Hog Call was actually a last minute addition to my schedule my freshman year, and Fire and Water Dinner is held at the end of the year. Throughout the academic year, I didn’t have many conflicts.”-- Chloë Williams, ’13

•“As a freshman, I was heavily involved in the music department. I went on a recruitment tour, I was in an opera, and I played in a musical. I stayed pretty busy, and survived off naps. I wouldn’t change it for the world though!”—Sara Owens, ’15

•“On campus I was involved as a Teaching Fellow, Honors student, Freshman Student Life Representative, and Bible Study. I also work on campus in the Alumnae House, as well as tutor in the Learning Center. First semester I struggled a little balancing all of these responsibilities and still being successful in all of my classes; however, with a lot of time management, and keeping on top of my assignments, I was able to handle it all and still manage to have lots of free time.” –Amanda Hall, ’15

•“I was in Intervarsity and Meredith Recreation Association and both of those had a meeting each week. I also participated in Cornhuskin’, which can be a big time eater. You just have to decide what is important to you. Those two groups are really important to me and so I made time for them and being in Corn was just a great experience and so I made sure to fit my homework and studying in other time slots.” – Rebecca Jernigan, ’13

Next question: Did you know your roommate before arriving at Meredith?

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