How to get the most out of your college experience

Your first semester in college can be difficult, especially if you are from another country where the educational system and language are completely different. I have found several tips on how to help this transition become easier and enhance your experience in college.  

Volunteering with Phi Theta Kappa

It’s not all about the grades

I remember my first semester in college like it was yesterday. I was unsure about how the new educational system worked, but I knew the importance of maintaining a high GPA. I worked hard to adapt to classes in another language. I completed assignments and studied for exams, but I realized the most important part of this process was connecting with my classmates and professors. Creating study groups helped me to successfully complete major activities, develop leadership skills, and support my new friends. Talking to professors helped me to find research and Peer-Led Team Learning opportunities. By taking the first step and reaching out to peers and mentors, experiences become your priority over grades

Extracurricular activities are important

Volunteer Research Assistant

I consider extracurricular activities to be one of the most important professional and personal growing experiences in college. Whether it is joining an honor society, a shared interest club, completing an internship, or volunteering abroad, these experiences help you meet new people, learn new skills, and enhance your passions. If you want to start your own club or head an event, look to your college’s Student Life or Student Services department for support in  your planning and cause. Taking part in these activities have greatly enriched my college experience and understanding of how I can better serve others as an aspiring professional.

It’s not always easy

In moments of hardships, I remind myself that I am thankful to be in the U.S. and for the opportunities that lie ahead. I am thankful to be studying for the chance to make a positive change as a pediatric oncologist and advocate. I am thankful for the people I have met and the lasting effects they have had on my life. If you are struggling to adjust to life in college, I recommend you focus not only on learning, but also on building experiences and friendships that can last a lifetime.

Pearson Students: What are your tips for transitioning into college life? Share in the comments below!


Originally from Venezuela, Stefany Marjani is a sophomore at the Honors College of Miami Dade College. She is Beta Kappa Iota Chapter president of Phi Theta Kappa, led the creation of a college-wide cancer awareness and fundraiser initiative, and organized a fundraiser initiative for the country in humanitarian crisis. In 2019 she was recognized as a recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education. Stefany also enjoys dancing, doing research, and volunteering in her community. She aspires to one day work as an oncologist and healthcare advocate.


Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us –  click here to pitch your idea and get started!


(Comments are monitored and may be delayed in posting.)


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *