Dear Larry…

Advice guru answers your school-related dilemmas. 

Dear Larry,

How do you balance having a social life, working out and keeping good grades? -A.S.

It is all about time management. Keeping a detailed schedule usually works for people. Also, staying organized and ahead with school work will facilitate having more time for friendships and exercise.

Dear Larry,

Is it a good idea to work while going to school full-time? -M.V.

Tricky question. It all depends on your desired career path. If your current job is what you want to do forever than dedicate more time to it. However, if it is not your ultimate career goal then do not prioritize a temporary job over your education.

Dear Larry,

I am starting to realize I hate my major, but I do not want to start all over. What do I do? -S.B.

Go with your gut. You will not be starting over, even if it seems like you are. Many classes at the community college level fit in to the general education credits, so do not be scared to see a counselor to talk this out. If you put off addressing this problem, then you will be wasting time and money taking classes you are no longer interested in.

Dear Larry,

What is a good way to meet new people around campus? -K.A.

Step 1: stop walking around campus with your head down and eyes glued to your phone. Instead, be more aware of your surroundings. Make eye contact with your peers and smile at those who look at you. A good strategy for picking friends is to look for cues that indicate the individual you are walking by is into the same things as you.

For example, T-shirts, stickers, sweaters, hats, etc. with recognizable logos, bands, movies, fanbases you like and spark a conversation about that common interest.

There you go, instant new bestie.

Dear Larry,

How do I motivate myself to improve my attendance? -A.R.

Two words: treat yo’self! When I find myself stuck in a cycle of skipping classes, I get myself to go by rewarding myself. Whether it be a coffee for attending my morning lecture or a snack for going to my afternoon class; it helps to keep your motivation up when you reward yourself for doing things you get bored of, like actually going to class.

Dear Larry,

What are some fun classes Saddleback has to offer? -N.B.

Surprisingly, speaking from my own experience, I have had the most fun in classes that were unlike anything I had ever taken. It is a good idea to take advantage of your time in community college because you can explore courses outside of your major for a cheaper cost and you may fall in love with the subjects you never thought to take.

Dear Larry,

I am worried about the transfer process, do you have any advice about applying to universities? -F.I.

My time at Saddleback is coming to an end after this semester and to be honest, my transfer process has been stressful. You can learn from a few of my mistakes in order to lessen the stress on your shoulders.

First and foremost, do not leave your applications until the deadline because they will take much longer to process.

Secondly, research the curriculum of the major you are transferring in to because some schools may not focus on what you want to learn.

Do not pick a school just because it is cool or popular because that equals higher costs and more people to compete with for admission. Just take it slow, but not too slow, and you can always ask a counselor for help.

Dear Larry,

Do you recommend participating in extracurricular activities in college or are they a waste of time? -D.T.

Yes and no. It is a good idea to spend time participating in extracurricular activities if they will help you prepare for your future career. They can be ways to have fun and make friends on campus. However, it is not a good idea to spend all of your time and energy on extracurriculars and let your grades slip, especially if the club or organization is completely unrelated to your educational goals.

Dear Larry,

How do you regain your will to live after midterms? -M.B.

Take lots of naps and eat lots of comfort food because midterms can creep up on you and shoot you down, but do not let them slow your progress through the semester. Do well and reward yourself after they are over. Although the mental toll may never fade, you can physically get yourself back in shape by relaxing after they are over.