Surviving college:tips for first time students
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 14:08
ior year of high school, first-year students find themselves once again wearing the freshman crown. Here is some simple guidance to help new Bison herd members start with success:
First and most importantly, do not skip class. The new independence is luring, and the free time seems endless at first. Skipping could be tempting if notes are supplied on Blackboard; even so, some critical parts of the lecture are not found in the online notes. Going to class allows you to gain a more meaningful learning experience and establish better relationships with your classmates and instructor with more ease. In addition, the one-hour class you miss could turn into hours lost when you attempt to learn the material on your own.
Second, establish your priorities and learn to focus. Juggling various duties at the same time is challenging, but not impossible. That being said, know your limits. Using a planner is an imperative management skill; shooting off e-mails, browsing through online stores, surfing the Internet news, reading humorous memes and writing an English paper all at once in a lecture is not.
Furthermore, aim to complete your assignments correctly the first time. In high school, teachers offered make-up tests, extra credit and homework re-do opportunities more liberally than your university instructors will. While homework in high school may have been graded for completion, homework in college is often graded based on right or wrong.
When completing projects, studying for tests and handing in assignments, your goal should be to always hand in your best work and not rely on a magical grade boost from extra credit. Do not feel discouraged if learning the new, challenging material does not come as easily as it did in high school. The change of environment and complexity of the material may require extra dedication and a shift in your study habits when compared to what you are used to.
Although lobbying your instructors for extra credit is highly discouraged, do break out of your shyness and visit your professors during office hours. This is an excellent way to get questions answered that you may not have the opportunity to ask in class. Sitting in lecture with hundreds of students can be an overwhelming experience for students who are accustomed to small class sizes, so office hours are a blessing for those who prefer to ask questions one-on-one. Plus, you may need recommendations or references from previous instructors later on, and you will feel much more comfortable if your professors know you.
In order to extract the most out of your college years, remember to get involved. Even though the words “get involved” are likely well-hammered into your brain by now, the phrase never loses its meaning. Involved students are happier students. Read this student newspaper to learn more about opportunities on campus and in your community. Pick up other local publications to learn more about the area. Attending campus events will help you feel more at home within the Bison community.
Remember that your voyage through college is not just a one-way, academic-only street. The journey will be brimming with fun, new opportunities, fresh faces and unique experiences. Welcome to NDSU, and remember to put your best foot forward.