Did anyone else struggle in their first semester of college?

Hi all,

I'm a first year student at what barely qualifies as a semi-target (a liberal arts college with a very strong alumni network...similar to Connecticut College/St. Lawrence/Furman). It was a match for me, and I got a great scholarship. 

Not the most ideal choice for IB recruiting, but again, strong alumni network-I figured I could make it work. However, although it's only a month in, I'm now struggling to keep a 3.0 (which is my scholarship minimum), and it feels like I'm starting to drown. My hopes of considering a transfer seem to be getting smaller every day, and now I'm beginning to worry about keeping my scholarship...and getting a decent chance for IB...or really, even a smaller firm. 

I'm not sure what to do, and I feel kind of alone and unsupported. I have no idea what I'm going to major in (my plan was either STEM or Political Science, or Econ), but I took classes across various disciplines to try new things, and I still can't decide. I'm sure that many other first-years that feel the same way, but I genuinely am not sure what to do. Has anyone else felt this way before, or is this just me?


Comments (5)

Sep 28, 2022 - 2:18pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I generally learned to study starting in college. Just put in the time and you'll get it eventually.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Sep 28, 2022 - 2:31pm
Stonks1990, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Dog... I am the man for your story. I wrote about my career trajectory in the past, but the long and the short of it is that I had a fucking 1.9 GPA my first semester. Yeah, you heard that right - one point nine. College is different than HS in every fundamental aspect, as HS allows you to not learn anything and still get A's by virtue of repetitive busy work, standardized testing with easy cheat methods, and everything in between.

Now, in college, you can still do these things, but the whole point of college (at least in your first two years) is less about the CONTENT as it directly pertains to your major (to an extent), and more about teaching you HOW to read problems, HOW to study, with the hope that you use the methods and information to translate that in the professional world. I've referenced the Calculus Theory before - 95% of the world won't use calculus after they take it in college. But, it's a required class since it shows you the methodology behind problem-solving, behind the elimination processes, and simulates controlled values in (x, y) so that you learn HOW TO PERFORM PROBLEMS. 

In addition, the thought process that you are SET on what you want to do within your first year of college is something that everyone goes thru, and rarely plays out the way you expect. I did not expect to be working private equity, didn't even plan on it. Yet, here we are. You don't gotta have everything figured out under any capacity. Hell, I changed my concentration my junior year, after working two internships that would only hold massive weight in my prior field. Everything works out. 

A lot of companies like to ride on a "minimum" GPA, usually around the 3.5 mark. In my opinion, this is changing. You're not gonna NOT get your banking offer just because you had a shitty freshman year. In the grand scope of things, that is not an adequate measure of your performance, and most companies will recognize that. Any company that refuses to do so is not a firm you want to work for. 

Point is, take a chill pill on the planning. You got time to figure it out. Work hard in your classes, figure out subjects that interest you, and take an active role within them. Join clubs and organizations that you find interesting while balancing it with keeping yourself healthy - physically and mentally. Lastly, don't forget to have fun. Drink a beer, you're in college - you're allowed to do that! If you have a good work ethic and are willing to demonstrate that, you'll have no trouble. 

Best of luck to you in the process. Go get 'em 

Sep 30, 2022 - 12:43pm
thesteezeman, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seconded, I would add that strategically you can get away with laying out your annual GPA's on your resume down the road when recruiting.  If alumni/recruiters/interviewers see a nice upward trend with a crappy freshman year, that opens the door to the conversation about what happened freshman year which you can easily explain away.  90% of the time they will understand, and you would be surprised how many successful people had bad grades, especially freshman year.  This is what I did (had well below 3.0 freshman year, pulled it up after) and it turned out okay. 

Sep 28, 2022 - 5:31pm
CharlesCheese, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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