Advice from Sally Seahawk

Sally Seahawk, Staff Writer

My boyfriend and I are going through a bad breakup right now and I’m having trouble focusing on exams. How can I help my situation?

This is a tough situation to deal with. Breakups are not easy to deal with in general, but during this high-stress time of the school year can make it even more difficult. I know it’s so easy for me to say for you to just forget about it and focus on school, but it’s almost impossible to actually do that. I would recommend doing whatever it takes to get your mind off of him. Maybe you and some friends could go to a local coffee shop and study for finals so that you can reduce the chances of you running into him on campus. While this can be helpful, I wouldn’t suggest that you try to avoid him and the entire situation in general. You would likely find yourself more occupied on not seeing him than actually focusing on exams. Be mature about it and talk to him. Tell him that you need to focus on school right now, but you want to talk about things after you get some schoolwork done and have time to devote to him and your relationship with him.

This is my second semester of my freshman year and as I’m preparing for finals I think I’m realizing that I hate my chemistry major. Is it too late to change? Will it put me behind?

I cannot stress enough that it is never too late to change your major. I experienced this same problem during my freshman year of college. I was a chemistry major as well when I came to UNCW and after struggling through the basic chemistry classes I decided to change it. I took two full semesters of biology and chemistry classes before I decided to change it. When I changed my major it was the best decision I ever made. I was much more motivated in school because I actually enjoyed my classes and the content I was learning. You can change your major now and still graduate on time. I changed after my freshman year and am still graduating a semester early. Although, if you want to pick up another major or a minor, then it may take you a little longer than four years. Even if it takes you longer than exactly four years, it will be worth it in the end. Having a degree in something you are interested in is so much better than having one that you hated every little thing about earning. This will set you up to get a job that you enjoy going to every day.

I am planning to graduate in December, but the graduate school I want to attend only accepts students in the fall so I will have a semester off. What do you recommend doing during this semester?

If you are looking to build your resume you could find an internship or a job that is related to the degree you are graduating with. This would give you job experience which would make you more competitive for jobs later on down the road. However, sometimes this could be difficult because some employers are skeptical about hiring individuals who know they are only able to work for a short amount of time. Long-term employees are often times more beneficial than short-term employees and most employers realize this. You could also build your resume with volunteer work if you are unable to find a job for the semester. You could do a variety of different things within the community that would give you experience, just without the money aspect. If you feel like you are burnt out on school or work, you could always use this semester as a break. Go travel or visit friends and family. This would allow you to get a break from the “real world” and you will be more likely to have a positive mindset when going into grad school.