College & Social Life

Bluefanatic's picture
Rank: Monkey | 30

As I finish up my sophomore year at a target I am truly wondering this one question:

for the people on this website who are juniors/seniors and have successfully attained IB jobs/summer internships...most of you had to get good grades...which for most of us takes time and sacrifice

How did you distribute your time? Did you go hermit mode during the week days and spend most of your time in the library and eating your meals alone for efficiency and then party/hangout with your friends on the weekend? If you were in a fraternity (as I am), how did you say no to temptation for partying? Did you just go out on big weekends/big parties?

What was your schedule really like?

I feel like even meeting up with friends for meals can be so hard for me cause I end up getting distracted and hanging out for hours. being in a fraternity has been especially tough and distracting for me and has led me to go out so much more. all of these little things have made me less efficient and I feel like I could have gotten a much better GPA if I did not get distracted like this.

So to those highly successful college and future IB guys, how did you do it? how did you schedule your life and make time for everything?

Comments (35)

Best Response
May 19, 2014

Let me say this. When I ask some of my friends "hey wanna have lunch/dinner?" they would say "no I gotta study." NO, YOU DON'T. If you're telling me you can't have 15 min to have a meal you're not studying properly. One thing to note is that all the people with truly top grades always have time for leisure. Studying is about efficiency and focus and not about the amount of time you put into it.

Time =/= Effort

Put in the effort to study and leave some time for yourself and your friends.

May 19, 2014

I respectfully disagree. Of course, if you don't study efficiently, studying for twelve hours a day might not mean very much. However, some classes are incredibly difficult, especially in the STEM field. If someone chooses to take mostly graduate classes or takes well over the recommended class count (8+ classes), then you will need to study an obscene amount. So much so that having a social life may not be an option.

As someone from a target, I feel your pain. My classes got significantly harder my junior year and I really struggled. A bunch of others in my study did, too. Quite a few of us lost contact with a lot of people. It's hard. But that's life, I guess.

The middle to end of the semester (the start of midterms to finals), I was studying eight hours a day six days a week, not including class time. I study quite efficiently, but it's just a hard subject. A lot of my friends didn't get it. It sucked. I'm sorry you're going through a similar thing.

May 19, 2014
aassddff:

I respectfully disagree. Of course, if you don't study efficiently, studying for twelve hours a day might not mean very much. However, some classes are incredibly difficult, especially in the STEM field. If someone chooses to take mostly graduate classes or takes well over the recommended class count (8+ classes), then you will need to study an obscene amount. So much so that having a social life may not be an option.

As someone from a target, I feel your pain. My classes got significantly harder my junior year and I really struggled. A bunch of others in my study did, too. Quite a few of us lost contact with a lot of people. It's hard. But that's life, I guess.

The middle to end of the semester (the start of midterms to finals), I was studying eight hours a day six days a week, not including class time. I study quite efficiently, but it's just a hard subject. A lot of my friends didn't get it. It sucked. I'm sorry you're going through a similar thing.

I agree with you that some courses are harder than the others and course load can get really heavy sometimes. However, I believe it is a student's responsibility to balance it.

Universities give students a level of freedom. Students are expected to balance their lives with that. If a student chooses to take heavy courses for the academic investment for the future, he must not complain about the struggle of the present.

May 19, 2014

So I wouldn't say I'm highly successful at anything, but I'll try to shed some light on what I've seen. This is from hanging out with several people who ended up with 3.7 - 4.0 GPA's and a strong interest in finance. Please note that I am in the bottom half of that range, so I may not be the best to take advice from.

First, get a group of friends that understands the difference between play and work. That is, they may want you to go out/be fun all the time, but they'll understand if you're working in the end. People would ask me just about every night (except Sunday) if I wanted to go drink. Occasionally I'd say yes, but I understood that it wasn't actually the same people every night. It's just that if you have a large group of friends, you'll get asked by the people who happen to have free time to go out. Eventually, they'd leave me alone if I made it clear I was serious about not going out.

Second, have the ability to say no. To hanging out after a meal, to lingering, move on. If you're bad at saying no...well first you should improve on that. But second, you can set boundaries in other ways. I scheduled my lunches like business meetings. One hour, a week in advance. I didn't fill every lunch spot this way, and occasionally I'd just go with my friends who I happened to be around, but it prevented a lot of lingering.

Third, find a place where it's relatively fun to work. This is the hardest piece of advice because it's not easy to replicate, but I worked in an office of a student org where I was friends with essentially everyone (except one person). It was easy to find the motivation to go--most of my friends were there. If you can somehow set up a work environment where it's fun to be in and you also happen to be doing less than desirable tasks, that's ideal.

Fourth, don't be afraid to cram a little (at least in finance and liberal arts majors). While some subjects probably require you to build knowledge slowly, you can usually get an A in a class via cramming, so don't treat every day like it's life and death for your grade. Get your HW done and get out and have fun. This will help when you have to say no later, btw, because people know that you're ok with having fun--this must be meaningful for you to now study instead.

Fifth, know where you need to dedicate the most time. Don't treat every class equally. You'd be surprised how much free time this clears up. This is not the best strategy if you're shooting for a 4.0. And if you're bad at judging seek advice. The caveat here is take EVERYONE'S study advice with a grain of salt. Most people will either exaggerate the difficulty if they didn't do well or exaggerate their lack of studying if they did well. What's important is to note how many people seemed to do fine. Hopefully you know their study habits well enough to know what that means for you.

Look, I know this was long, but this is how I managed my time. I had a lot of fun in college, but I also had to set clear boundaries. Take it with a grain of salt--my college was not difficult and was a non-target. I also didn't end up with a BB offer (although a few people I'm basing this off of did).

May 19, 2014

I have a 3.9 and 3 internships and I have no idea how I managed that. I really don't deserve it. There are tons of people at my school who work much harder and have lower GPAs and either no internship or some bullshit life insurance dealio. But I'm a socially-competent white male, so I can get away with pretty much anything.

Also, I'm studying Finance, which is fucking easy, and I quit taking challenging classes a while ago. I was crazy unmotivated last semester and was becoming an alcoholic, so I dropped my classes and went to South America for a bit.

I'm still super unmotivated. So is everyone else though, so there's a sense of camaraderie. We're all just trying to get the fuck out of here. We've gotten our assignment copying down to a science. My calculator has enough text in it to fill a book. There's a FB page dedicated to collusion for every class I'm in. I only really go to campus on days I wanna use the gym. I regularly leave lectures to walk around campus drinking Four Loko from my aluminum water bottle and hitting on underclassmen chicks.

I do stay up for about 2 nights straight during finals week tough. Worth it. Walk up out the final like, keep the pencil

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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May 19, 2014

[quote=GoldenCinderblock]

I was crazy unmotivated last semester and was becoming an alcoholic, so I dropped my classes and went to South America for a bit.

i've seen people comment that they're tempted to do something like this. What was your decision process like to drop the classes and buy the plane ticket?

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May 19, 2014
AndyLouis]<p>[quote=GoldenCinderblock:

I was crazy unmotivated last semester and was becoming an alcoholic, so I dropped my classes and went to South America for a bit.

i've seen people comment that they're tempted to do something like this. What was your decision process like to drop the classes and buy the plane ticket?

It was the first semester of my senior year and I just felt very unmotivated for whatever reason. I felt adult life rapidly approaching, but I still felt like a kid and didn't want to be a boring adult finance professional. I felt that society had painted me into the role I was in and thought that maybe this isn't where I need to be. Maybe I'm that guy who moves to Brazil to open a bar and teach surfing lessons.

All I really cared about was getting fucked up and getting laid. I'd routinely be blackout drunk by 2pm. I'd be drinking in class out of boredom. I've always procrastinated, but I work best with a fire under my ass and always get shit done at the last minute. For the first time, I found myself flat out not doing assignments. I also had just completed an internship that I hated. Just being there gave me anxiety, which convinced me I wasn't cut out for office work. Luckily, I'm pretty content with where I'm at now.

So I dropped my classes and lost 30% of that semester's tuition. I think my counselor or whatever (total bro, was in the Army and is a Trekkie) was looking out for me because the next semester, I won a scholarship I didn't even apply for amounting to approximately my lost tuition.

I came back from SA (Brazil & Bolivia), quit trying to be a special snowflake, got my shit together, and found an internship to do while I waited for the next semester to begin. I'm still doubtful that I'm gonna do the corporate thing long-term, but it's my best bet right now.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

    • 1
May 19, 2014

My strategy was always to understand exactly how much time assignments/studying were going to take, socialize until I had that amount of time + a little cushion to mess around left and then cram until the finish line. Not the easiest way to make it through college, but I ended up with a great job and certainly partied enough...

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May 19, 2014

I'm an engineering student and while I'm usually at the lab every night, I still make an effort to socialize each day and get wasted once a week. No doubt as I get older this will be more difficult, but if you manage your time right you will have extra time in the week.

May 19, 2014

if only i could have read the 4 hour work week before college....

Time =/= Effort x10, my biggest fault

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May 19, 2014

Between a varsity sport, campus job, and being an editor for 2 publications I'm pretty busy. But, I still get time to go out every weekend (as long as there's nothing sports related the next day) and usually one day in the middle of the week as well. That said, I'm in the 3.7-3.8 range, not 3.8-3.9. I'm pretty sure that for me to get up there I'd have to drop one of my extracurriculars at least and/or stop going out so much.

FYI junior w/ sa position.

May 19, 2014

It depends on what course you do. I know peiple who only have 5 hours contact time. This includes seminars and lectures. And I know people who have 20 hour of contact time per week and on top of that they have to attend uni to meet up and do group coursework. So it all depends on what subject you do.

May 19, 2014

Personally, I have a feeling you are over thinking this. One thing I've learned is that the more you do what you need/want to do and worry about everything else less; the better things seem to fall into line. It comes down to what type of person you are and your aptitude, frankly. Outside of simply getting the work finished it greatly varies how much people need to study. Some people I swear never left the library and others never stepped foot in it except to socialize. Here's the advice I would give you about the whole situation. Know what you are capable of and push yourself to the edge of it, erring on the side of going over the edge. If you know you could put in a few more hours work and get better grades then do it. Cut out things at the margins that you don't want as much, like video games, and there you go. Honestly, Sundays were pretty much purgatory for me but otherwise if you ascribe to the work during the day, leave your nights free philosophy it works out pretty well.

You also need to be wary of are the people you surround yourself with. I think someone mentioned it above, but the company you keep will make a HUGE difference in your ability to balance yourself. If you hang out with deadbeats, it'll be that much easier to say, ' Oh, well I'll hang out this once' or stick around longer than you should. Maybe even push an assignment off and forget to do it. You don't want those people. Ideally, you want motivated people who will push you to be better at all aspects of your life. Frats are normally pretty good at that, as much as they may get denigrated at times.

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May 19, 2014

I go to a west coast school that has a rep for being a party school, so not going out on Friday and Saturday was not an option. If you hit the books everyday after class and also save some time for a Saturday and Sunday study sesh, you should have no problem getting great grades. I was playing for my schools lacrosse team and also had a part time job but always tried to at least do 2-4 hours of work a day. University will be some of your greatest years, enjoy it!!

May 19, 2014

It's all about time management. I went to a relatively hard school and was in a party heavy fraternity. Yet, I have a lot of friends that still got great grades and jobs/grad school. Those that excelled typically partied just as hard as anyone just had better time management. From what I remember most people just dicked around during the day. Those that excelled used the day time to get their shit done and then were able to party/be social almost every night.

The biggest tip is to just use your down time wisely. College is not so hard that you can't get good grades and be super social if you just have good time management. This is paramount in the real world too to learn the skill sooner than later.

May 19, 2014

My first year is dragging me down but my last semester I had an A- average GPA. Next semester I don't plan on going under an A. I don't have an internship either yet, but if you'd like to know how I improved: Just focus, and really put your effort into your work. Your school/social life should be about 70/30 at least. Finish your work, then think about social events, never sacrifice your work to party. Have 1 or 2 days (friday/saturday) where you spend either partying or relaxing. Then get back into.

As for not being able to resist temptation... Seriously? C'mon. Do you workout? Play sports? Either of those will teach you enough discipline to resist the temptation to skip studying, assuming you stick to them.

May 19, 2014

Time management is key. I'm long out of school but I double majored (finance/liberal arts), had a job and held internships on and off during the year and in the summer and managed to have a super active social life while graduating with a 3.8. Luckily I didn't need much sleep (4 hours was ok for me) so I just jammed in studying whenever I could. Sure, I'd grab lunch with people sometimes but if I had an hour or two break between classes I'd go to the library or some study room and get in an hour of studying instead of sitting around staring at girls or talking shit with my friends. On the nights I didn't go out I would lock myself away, in my room, the library, wherever there was no distractions and just hit it for hours straight. And because I didn't need to sleep much I would often wake up early and get work done before classes. And I'd cram when it came to mid terms/finals or when projects/papers were due. There's also a big difference in going out and having an active social life and getting blotto drunk and not being able to function at all the next day-yes I would get drunk and not be able to function well the next day maybe every other week, but if I went out a few times per week I'd drink and get a tipsy but the trick was to not get housed every time I went out. And girls liked it more when I wasn't the slobbering drunk like most college guys. Finance and liberal arts are relatively easy though: my friends who were engineers basically disappeared most of the school year.

May 19, 2014

Treat college like a 8 to 5 job and you'll be golden. Flex up the hours when mid-terms / finals come around.

May 19, 2014

Depends on the workload. During recruiting seasons/finals, I'd probably only go out one night out of every two weekends, but that's it. Sometimes even less

During off-season, I'd go out Friday and Saturday, watch an episode of TV most other night and then watch sports during the weekend, and I'd still get all A's

May 19, 2014

Everyone keeps mentioning time management but how do you do it? Working efficiently is definitely an asset but I don't know how.

May 19, 2014

a good exercise is to take around a small pad of paper or franklin-covey type paper with hour by hour space and log your time, but live your life as normal for a while. simply seeing what you do on a daily basis will allow you to see what can be cut out. if you spend too much time watching TV, this will show up. if you dick around in the library or in the gym, note that too.

I have a close friend & fraternity brother (went to an non target, serious non target) and he managed to network, get quality internships & SA positions, and now is at a MM in IB and he never missed a party/social function. it can be done, but you have to guard your time closely.

May 19, 2014
thebrofessor:

a good exercise is to take around a small pad of paper or franklin-covey type paper with hour by hour space and log your time, but live your life as normal for a while. simply seeing what you do on a daily basis will allow you to see what can be cut out. if you spend too much time watching TV, this will show up. if you dick around in the library or in the gym, note that too.

I have a close friend & fraternity brother (went to an non target, serious non target) and he managed to network, get quality internships & SA positions, and now is at a MM in IB and he never missed a party/social function. it can be done, but you have to guard your time closely.

I absolutely second this. Get an agenda, this will be the most important thing you'll have (i suggest a Moleskine). Write down your schedule for the week during the previous weekend. Exams, assignments, homework due all of that. Write everything down and you'll have a better perspective of things (write social events down too). After that just stick to it, it is hard specially when sometimes you just want to lazy around during the weekend with your buds but it pays off at the end of the semester or when you end up landing x or y position.

May 20, 2014

I'm studying Applied Economics at University of Tokyo. I came here for language school back in 2010, and fucked up so bad. I became an alcoholic and found myself sleeping on the streets. I got in trouble with the cops countless times (got arrested once for stealing a breast of chicken), and had 3 teeth knocked out from multiple super-drunk fights. I ended up getting an internship for a F500 company through a friend and thus dropped out of language school. After dropping out I made a lot of Japanese friends and started speaking 100% Japanese 24/7. It seemed like through dropping out I actually learned the language a lot faster. I passed the JLPT2 which was my goal. My internship paid me 300000 yen ($3k)/ month, and I only worked about 5 hours a week from my laptop at home. I thought of it as more of a scholarship than an internship but I still put it on my resume to this day. Anyway, the high pay led to more booze and partying. Then one day I was sitting at home drinking a flask of whiskey and watching a movie when an email came my way. They told me changes were occurring in the company and they were making cuts. I lost my internship, my Visa was about to run out, and I was an alcoholic. At that moment I came to the realization that I had reached the lowest ultimate-fucking-low. Two months later I was back in America living with mommy and daddy again. It took me a while to figure my life out, but I eventually came back to Tokyo. Now I have a 3.7 GPA with an internship at Bloomberg under my belt, and I'm starting an internship with JPM this summer. I live in Tokyo, one of the biggest and most depraved cities on earth. There are so many distractions here. I have almost no social life compared to when I was here for language school. I came to the realization that you only have ONE CHANCE at school. Save all that partying shit for later when you make a lot of money. If you give in to alcohol and hoes and everything goes tits up, then you're left with nothing but a pile of shit to show employers, and you can't go back and change that.

May 19, 2014

out of interest what was your internship at bloomber like?

May 20, 2014

Surprised no one has mentioned 'native intelligence' or something similar yet.

Shoutout to the kids claiming they never read the book and pull 4.0's... Fuck that tabula rasa idea, right?

May 20, 2014

I go to a well-respected liberal arts university with a top 20 undergrad business program and it took a while for me to learn how to get good grades. I did not study much in high school and always did pretty well. I took that approach into college and did poorly freshman year ( ">IB job at an elite boutique through my summer internship and did it all while having a strong social life in college.

First piece of advice would be to figure out your learning style and apply that whichever way lets you achieve your desired grades. A lot of kids in college also sleep for ridiculous amounts of hours. Get in a routine of waking up at a reasonable hour for mornings when you are not hungover. If you are able to get into a good pattern Monday through Thursday then there is no reason that you can't go out with friends on weekends. Another piece of advice would be to get in the habit of making time for lunch/dinner with friends during the week. It is an easy way to break up the day and I think that it will definitely make you more productive during the times that you are working. Last thing is to do your best to workout during the week as well.

You need to remember that grades are only one aspect of the job search. Grades will get you in the door but they will certainly not land you the job. Your experiences and ability to present yourself in a professional and sociable manner will land you that IB job. Almost everyone from my school that landed the best jobs is very sociable. Go out and have fun but buckle down during the week. Don't ruin your college experience by being cooped up in a room looking at words all day. Sorry for the rant and length of the post but best of luck in the future.

May 21, 2014
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May 21, 2014