Hi, I'm Julissa Chavez, a rising senior biology major. I am from Chicago, IL and a total city girl, but I have found Northfield to be a second home when I am surrounded by my friends. As a first generation Mexican-American who has been raised by very traditional immigrants, I like to be involved in as many cultural events and activities as I can at Carleton, and have met the majority of my friends through this participation. I am active in the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Black Student Alliance (BSA), Minority Student Pre-Health Coalition (MSPC), and the Coalition of Women of Color (COWOC), and would love to provide info to those interested in partaking in student organizations. This will be my second time as a peer leader for the Office of Intercultural and International Life and I am looking forward to the incorporation of the International Student Orientation. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone!
What are the academics at Carleton?
The academics at Carleton are very rigorous, but that also means that you get a lot out of them. With 10 weeks to cover what is typically stretched over a semester requires that students stay organized throughout the term. For me, that typically involves going over syllabi the first couple of days and writing in all important assignments and exams into my planner. Although academics at Carleton are challenging, the atmosphere is not competitive, which means that how you perform academically is completely personal and based on the effort you put into it. To be honest, some of my favorite classes have been the ones I have struggled the most in. Carleton has an amazing academic support center where you can seek help or advice for almost any class, and I’ve learned the benefit of being willing to admit to yourself when you need some help or simply want someone to review with.
How does one manage time at Carleton?
Managing time at Carleton varies from person to person, but I think it all comes down prioritizing what you think is most important to you and deciding how much time you can afford to allot to each thing on your list. There is a lot going on at Carleton, whether it be academically, socially, personally, or emotionally, so combining that with things that may be going on outside the Carleton bubble means that there will be times when you can not possibly fit everything in. The first term of freshman year is a good time to try out things that sound interesting to you on campus and then start to cut back on things that are not necessarily the most beneficial or important to you. Extracurricular may take up a lot of time that can be used studying, but having that time away from the books has really helped me balance my schedule. They provide down time to relax, think about issues not related to my courses, and I get to see friends at the same time. One thing that works for me is trying to manage a daily to do list in order to not fall behind on any of my responsibilities, as well as providing wiggle room when I plan out my days. Time is relative, so just make sure you feel comfortable with what you’re putting on your plate and make sure to leave in some personal time every once in a while. Learning to manage your time at Carleton comes with experience.