I have been thinking about studying abroad soon, but I don’t want to get behind in classes. I’ve spoken to a few people and I’ve been getting mixed responses. I’d love to take some classes in Spain or maybe Chile, but I want to graduate in four years. Do you think I should travel while I’m still an undergrad, or wait until I graduate to explore other places?
— Culture-craving Aggie
Dear Culture-craving Aggie,
Granted, I’m a bit biased having studied abroad myself, but I highly recommend packing your bags the minute the opportunity arises. If you ask people who have studied abroad, most will say it was the greatest experience and that you should do it. If you ask people who have opted not to study abroad, most will say that they’d rather graduate and travel later because it’s much cheaper to travel outside of a UC program. It’s important to stay on top of your academic plans, but if you can make room for a possibly life changing trip, then go for it!
If you are considering applying for one of the Education Abroad Programs then head over to the EAP office on Third Street and talk with someone about your plans. Pick up a pamphlet, browse your options and keep an open mind. Start saving up some cash because as great as it is to get out of town and see the world, it’s no cheap feat. Before I took off, I spoke with my academic advisor just to make sure that I wouldn’t jeopardize graduating on time. If your class schedule is jam-packed and you don’t have an open quarter, then you may want to consider a Summer Abroad Program.
The experience of living in a new country with people you’ve never met is one that everyone should experience at some point. Gifting yourself with (or getting your parents to finance) a Euro trip after graduation is great; lots of people do it. But if you simply can not contain the traveler within any longer and yearn to immerse yourself into the world of foreign wonders, then best wishes!
Here are a couple of tips that you should take note of: Pack a week’s worth of clothes in your carry-on. Bad things can and probably will happen to your luggage. Hostels get a bad rap so give them a shot. Finally, don’t over-pack because you don’t want to be the clueless American squeezing your way through train isles with two clunky suitcases while everyone chuckles at your expense (sadly, I know this from experience).
I like to party, and lately it has been taking a toll on my class attendance and overall GPA. I don’t want to sacrifice my weekends or hanging out with my friends but I also don’t want to fail my classes and get on academic probation. How can I improve my academic life without completely jeopardizing my social life?
— Calculus-defeated beer pong champion
Dear Calculus-defeated beer pong champion,
I know that a big part of college is having a good time and living life to its fullest, but an even bigger part is actually staying in college and graduating. You are obviously smart enough to have gotten into this prestigious UC; now all you need to do is prioritize a little better.
A general rule of thumb for success is this: Monday to Friday is for going to class, seeing a tutor, attending office hours, spending some quality time at the library, hitting up the gym and enjoying the occasional study break. Saturdays and Sundays are for partying, going to see a movie, the gym, maybe visiting your parents, doing the dreaded laundry, and relaxing, BUT should also involve studying and doing homework (especially around midterms and finals).
A tip my roommate suggested is to work on school related activities until around 10 p.m. on a Friday night and then show up to the party late. This will not only give the illusion that you were at a cooler, more exciting party earlier that night, but you will also have gotten some work out of the way! Try this regiment out for a couple of weeks and see how things go.
Some people are born with this incredible ability to glance at a text book, never show up to class and ace the class. And while we try not to hate those people, the other 95 percent of us need to commit ourselves to Starbucks and Shields Library in order to get a solid B. Yes, it will take self control and a strong will to say no to Thirsty Thursday, but you can do it! Believe me, if you fail out of college, you will wake up in your parents’ house with no one to play beer pong with except your mom’s tabby cat, and that’s never fun.
Gabby should be known as the Buddha of UC Davis, because she sees and knows all. Find out what she has to say about your problem at firstname.lastname@example.org.