New Semester Resolutions

Sorry for not writing for a while. I was incredibly busy with finals, then I traveled with my parents back home, where the internet sucked, and now I’m back in college. (Also, I didn’t really know what to write about).

So the new semester is about to start and some of you enjoyed my end of last semester reflections. So I’m going to do the same before this semester.

Academics

1.) Don’t take too many hours

Last semester, I learned a lesson about not taking too many hours. I took on 18 hours (to be fair, I kind of had to to make my degree work but still.) I ended up getting one B and one B+, which screwed my GPA up a bit (It’s still fixable and not horrible). So I learned my lesson and this semester, I’m taking 15 hours.

2.) Take morning classes

Last semester I took all morning classes and it was a great decision for me. I had the whole day to work on getting stuff done and plenty of time to do extra curricular activities. So this semester I’m sticking with doing the same thing.

3.) Pay attention during difficult classes

I day dreamed a bit too much during my accounting and statistics classes. Which is one of the reasons (apart from the 18 hours one) for not doing too hot in them. So my resolution for next semester is to put away my laptop/phone, take notes, and pay attention.

Recruiting:

1.) Don’t Procrastinate with NetworkingSo far, I did not procrastinate with my academics and with submitting online applications. So far I have two interviews that are going to the second rounds so this strategy is somewhat working. However, I did procrastinate on reaching out to recruiters, networking, and cold calling small firms (since this tasks are less pleasant.) I did do some of those activities but definitely not enough so this semester I should focus more on doing that, especially knowing my GPA issue. 2.) Start Going to More Recruiting Events During the first semester, I didn’t go to nearly enough recruiting events. Not only did I miss some free steaks but also opportunities to talk with recruiters, get to know more people, and potentially get a head with my recruitment process. I did go to a few events but not nearly as much as I used to. 3.) learn the technicalsDuring a couple of interviews, I got asked some technical questions. Even though my major is declared as “Finance”, I know as much about Finance as your average High School counselor (ok. Knowing their advice about student loans I know a bit more). Since I know Finance as well as your average person does, you can imagine how awesome I’ve done at the technical questions. To say it was embarrassing would be an understatement. So my resolution is to learn the technical things that I need to know for interviews. It might not come up and I might not need it but knowing this things would be nice anyways and in the worst case scenario, I will waist a couple of weeks learning how to use Excel better and how to do financial models.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

1.) Start Going for more Leadership Roles

Last semester, I started to put myself out their more with extra curricular activities. I ended up being committed to only one of them but to be fair, the other activities sucked (For example, I met a group of feminists who thought that wearing make up was a form of misogyny.)

With this said, I did end up being fairly involved in one of my clubs (I actually attended all meetings, events, and even advertised for it). So my goal for next semester is to go for a leadership role in it.

2.) Do more Case Competitions

I did my first case competition last semester and won third place. I won $100 (ok. I won $160 but $60 is going to Uncle Sam).

Since I’ve been successful at it the first time (and really enjoyed doing it), I want to do more of them. It is a nice opportunity to talk to recruiters, I’ll get to work with more interesting people, and I can win more cash prizes (and who doesn’t like cash?)

Friendships:

1.) Be more straight foreword with people

I had one guy who wanted to be friends with me this semester. I didn’t really enjoy spending time with him but did anyways because I felt like I “had too” and like “you can’t have too many friends”. This story ended with him thinking we were dating (we weren’t) and telling me that he wanted to “break up” with me. I told him, “I’m sorry but you can’t break up with me. We aren’t and had never even dated”.

I laughed about this ridiculous “break up” and felt relieved about not having to talk to that guy anymore. So this story had a happy ending for me. However, I could have avoided all of this by being more straight forward and telling the guy that I didn’t want to hang out with him.

2.) Find a friend who will be “the honest one”

Usually, I’m the one who gives “tough love” to my friends. If I genuinely am friends with someone, I will state my honest opinion and tell my friend to “get your life together” if I see him or her slacking off.

However, I don’t really have a lot of friends who would hold me accountable, give me advice on stuff, or call me out on my BS. I realized last semester that I really want to have such a friend and hopefully can find someone.

So this are my goals for next semester and reflection on my previous ones. Would love to hear about your goals as well.

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Reflecting on my Freshman Year of College

My Freshman year of college is done. I’m done with my finals, my grades are up, and my friends had left home for the Summer. At first, I felt very disappointed with how my freshman year went. However, simply hating yourself for something or being disappointed is not very productive. Besides, I’m still an honors student and I have made loads of friends so I’m probably being way too harsh on myself. Instead of making this into a “I’m so disappointed in myself” story, I will reflect on my successes and failures and what I learned from them that I can apply next year (and that you can learn from as well).

Academics

1.) Quality is Better Than Quantity

What I mean by this is: it’s better to take fewer hours and get all A’s than take 17 hours and get a mixture of B’s and A’s. During my second semester of College, I took 17 hours. I thought that I could handle it because I took 16 during my first semester and got a mixture of A’s and -A’s as my grades. However, I was wrong. My cumulative GPA is still a 3.7 so I didn’t screw up too bad but I could have done significantly better if I had taken 14 or 13 hours.  I would have had more time to focus on each subject. Also, picking 3 difficult classes (calculus, chemistry, and management information systems) as part of those 17 hours was probably not the bad idea. I also would have had more time to join clubs and activities instead of being constantly stressed out about my grades.

I’ve done this because I wanted to declare my major earlier than everybody else. I achieved this goal but had to pay with a lower GPA.

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Resolution For Next Year: Take less hours (maximum 16). Have a greater balance of easy/hard classes. Also, use Ratemyproffessor.com. No need to make my life harder than it has to be.

2.) Write What Your Professor Wants to Hear

I need to give credit were credit is due. I got this idea from Wall Street Playboy’s blog. They have written a post titled “The Real Guide to Our College Education System”. I’m not going to summarize the whole blog post here because not everything in it is relevant and because you can search for it yourself and read it.

One of the arguments that their blog post had made is that college teaches you to think like someone else and that if you write what your professor wants to hear in the essay, you will get a better grade (especially in humanities/social science/general education classes).

I tried this strategy out in my Sociology class. In the first essay, I’ve expressed my opinion on one of the issues in the class and got a B-. On the second essay, I have written what my professor wanted to hear (about how income inequality sucks) and got an A. I have used a similar approach for the exams, and again, got A’s on them.

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I think you can guess  on which one I told my own opinion. Hint: It’s the first one.
The quality of both essays were similar. I spent exactly the same time writing the second essay as I spent on the first essay and I don’t think that my writing skills had significantly improved in this short period of time. However, I had the same opinion as the professor on the second essay and a different opinion on the first one, which had made all the difference.

Resolution For Next Year: Wall Street Playboys are right about this one. Use this strategy next year because it works.

3.) Controlling Your Emotions During Exams is Important

During my first Math exam, I ended up getting a really bad grade because I freaked out during the exam. I tried to solve the questions on it but ended up getting stuck on the arithmetic part, getting angry at myself, and “quitting” in the middle of the exam. On the next 2 exams, I have done significantly better (more than 24% better) because I was calm and in control of my emotions. As my Calculus professor had said: “It’s all in your head”. Yes. Studying for exams is important. But being in control of your emotions is just as important.

Resolution For Next Year: Don’t really have one. I learned how to not get nervous and remain calm so don’t really have anything to add.

Social Life

1.) Academics and Extra-Curriculars are More Important Than Social Life

This one relates to the academics point. This year, I have spent way too much time socializing and not enough time studying.

In High School, my High School Counselor had written in my letter of recommendation that I was anti social. The issue is that I have a tendency to try to prove people wrong and so I spent the whole freshman year by socializing with anyone and everyone, from a homeless guy next to the University to a millionaire trust fund kid to liberal arts kids to a guy whose triple majoring in 3 demanding subjects. I ended up going out almost every day. Even though I met a lot of incredibly fascinating people, I have ended up ruining my grades (partially because of this) and not participating in enough extracurriculars, since socializing took a lot of time.

Resolution For Next Year: Spend less time socializing (once or twice a week) and more time studying.

2.) Socialize With The Right People

Even though I socialized a lot, I ended up making a lot of random friends instead of making friends who can help me succeed or friends who are also studying finance/business. Yes. I have made some friends who also want to do something finance or business related but not enough.

Not only have I failed to make friends within my area of study, I have also failed to make a lot of friends who are motivated to do something with there lives and who, in return, would motivate me to do something. A lot of my friends are liberal arts majors and don’t understand why I’m doing what I’m doing and think that I should just switch to studying a more “fun major”.

However, having said all of this, I have found 2 best friends, who are just incredible human beings and who have always been there for me this year. One of them, I have met at Austin’s Pizza, after I have had a really bad experience with one of the guys. The second one I have met in my MIS class and she had taught me a lot of useful information about how to deal with my parents. I can’t thank God enough for putting this people in my path and I will definitely continue being best friends with them in the future.

Resolution For Next Year: Start socializing with people who can help me, who share my life goals, and/or who are motivated to do something with their lives and who will not drag me down. Stop socializing people who are not supportive of me and who have completely different goals and ideas about life. Don’t try to argue with them and waist your time. Continue being friends with my current 2 best friends because they are amazing.

3.) Remember People’s Names and How They Look Like

I have met so many people this year that I don’t remember half of the people that I’ve met. The problem is that a lot of those people remember my name and, somehow, a lot of those people think that I’m their BFF. And I don’t even remember who they are, where I met them, and what they are studying. I would usually pretend to go along with what they are talking about and pretend like I remember who they are (even though I don’t). I’ve used this strategy until one of those people had asked, “what’s my name?” in the middle of the conversation. I just stood there, mortified. Because whatever I did, I could not remember her name.

Resolution For Next Year: Keep track of who I meet and remember them. Because, apparently, I am a very memorable human being.

Extra-Curriculars

1.) Better to Join Less Clubs but be More Involved

Similarly to academics, quality trumps quantity.

I have joined a bunch of clubs my freshman year and ended up quitting most of them. In my High School, I didn’t had a lot of options when it came to extra-curriculars. In college, there is just so much to do and so many clubs to join. I felt like a kid in the candy store who wanted to try out everything. Even though I had a lot of fun (and don’t regret it because I figured out which clubs to join next year), I ended up not participating in any clubs meaningfully and (obviously) haven’t gotten elected for any leadership positions in any of the clubs.

Resolution For Next Year: Join 1-2 of the right organizations and participate a lot. Try to get a leadership position in one of those clubs by the end of next year.

2.) Meetings Are Boring But Necessary

For the finance related organizations that I have joined, the weekly meetings are pretty boring. You just sit there, listen to some people who make presentations, and pretend not to be bored. It’s like attending an additional class. Even though the information that they were talking about was interesting, you, yourself, are not doing anything. You just sit there and listen to other people talking. Because of this, I ended up not going to a lot of the weekly meetings.

However, what I have realized is that those meetings help  you  make friends with the right people. All of the people at this organizations are interested in the same things you are interested in. This means that it would be easy for you to find people to participate in  competitions, which are relevant to your major, with. It would also be easy to find people who have similar issues and concerns that you do and who understand you better. So even those meetings are boring, they provide a great opportunity to meet new people.

Resolution For Next Year: Suck it up and attend weekly meetings at those organizations in order to make friends with the right people easier.

So this are the my most important resolutions and things that I’ve learned for next year. Hopefully, I can stick with my plan for next year.

Hope you had an incredible year,

Good luck with Finals if you are still taking them,

 

XOXO

 

Katy Bronsk

PS: Sorry for not writing for so long. I just had a lot of exams that I had to do and then I started my Summer job so was getting used to the new work load.