The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) drives to the basket during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

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Senior forward Blake Hinson (2) drives to the basket during Saturday evening’s game against Virginia Tech in the Petersen Events Center.
Column | Blake Hinson has pro potential
By Aidan Kasner, Staff Writer • February 29, 2024
Women’s History Month event roundup
By Ryleigh Lord, News Editor • February 29, 2024

Campus Life | My last semester: What I have learned so far

Campus Life is a biweekly blog about the everyday things happening around Pitt’s campus.
Campus+Life+%7C+My+last+semester%3A+What+I+have+learned+so+far
Shruti Talekar | Contributing Editor

As my last semester at Pitt approaches its halfway point, I want to share some things I have learned over the past four years that were valuable to me and helped me navigate life in college.

My first piece of advice is something that everyone tells you before you get to college, and that is to manage your time. I learned this the hard way my first year because all I wanted to do was to hang out with the new friends I made. I found myself skipping class. As I continued to neglect school, I soon realized the importance of setting priorities and creating a balanced schedule. It was tough to make those changes at first, but I realized that I could do both — it taught me a crucial lesson about discipline. I started using planners and making reminders, which helped me reach my academic goals while also spending quality time with my friends. This new balance not only improved my grades, but also enhanced my college experience, allowing me to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Another thing I have learned is to be open-minded. I came to Pitt still in that high school mindset. I thought I was over it, but soon realized I was not. College is very different from high school — it is a whole other world. After meeting people in my classes who came from different backgrounds and had different life experiences than me, I found it very fascinating. The exposure to different perspectives expanded my understanding and appreciation for other cultures and viewpoints. I found myself engaging in conversations that challenged my preconceived beliefs and allowed me to grow intellectually and personally. This journey of being open-minded has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my university life, as it taught me the value of respect and embracing differences. 

Another great tip is to participate. I was always the shy kid who never asked any questions — whether it was in class or anything outside of school. However, I forced myself to give my input when working in groups on projects and joined multiple clubs. I was very scared at first, but after taking a seminar class my sophomore year — which consisted of only 15 people — talking in class got much easier. My professor and peers never made me feel like my opinion was invalid, which made me feel like I contributed good input. This new confidence led me to take on leadership roles in a few of the clubs I was in and made me want to actively participate in bigger class discussions. This is something I always wanted to work on in high school, but never could because of my fear of being judged. I learned the value of my contributions and the importance of being an engaged member of the academic community. 

Lastly, I learned tips that helped me work on my communication skills. While giving presentations in high school, I would always read off of the board or my notes, but never fully understood what I was trying to present. After taking multiple classes where I had to present a topic to my class, I learned that understanding what I was trying to say played a big role in how I spoke about it. My ability to explain concepts clearly has helped me with academic presentations and when I am in professional contexts. These improved communication skills have led to new opportunities and have been critical in determining my path to a successful career.

I hope these tips help you through college just like they helped me. Even though I faced a couple of challenges along the way, I am very grateful that I now know these tips and I am excited to see where they take me.

Shriya writes primarily about her everyday experiences on Pitt’s campus. Talk to them at [email protected].

About the Contributor
Shriya Yadamreddi, Senior Staff Writer