Attention Students! This blog is for you. As you prepare for college, whether you are going for the first time or you are returning after your summer vacation, here are some practical tips to make your college experience more meaningful.
1. Attend class
Attend class daily. You are at college to earn a degree. This is the ultimate goal and therefore, your number one priority must be attending class, completing course work, and successfully passing each class that you take. In order to get the most out of the classes you take, sit in the front row. Take notes. Participate. Be present. Research suggests that students who take notes by hand, retain more information from the lesson and actually process the information at a deeper level, because they are forced to put the information into their own words. So….get off your devices (computers, tablets, phones). Take notes by hand.
2. Utilize University Resources
On every college campus, the number of resource available for students vary. Locate and utilize the resources that are available on your campus. Start with the library and the librarians. You will need to write papers that are supported by research; therefore, learning to use the library as well as discovering how to contact a librarian will be important to your success.
Go to Study Sessions that your instructors or teaching assistants offer. They will assist in preparing for assessments. Being prepared can help to reduce anxiety and can help you to earn a better grade.
Attend office hours. Your instructors will have scheduled office hours. It is highly encouraged to attend office hours. Introduce yourself. Ask questions. Make personal connections with your professors.
3. Talk to Your Professors
I mean really have a conversation with your professor. Introduce yourself! Share some personal information, like where you are from, your major, a future career goal, or a personal hobby. Making connections with your professors is important. They can assist you when you are having difficulty with the course material. They can also help you as you progress through your degree program. You may find that you need or want to participate in research opportunities and your professors may be able to provide those opportunities. They can also write you a letter of recommendation for graduate school or a potential job. If your professors do not know you, they may be more reluctant to help. So make connections and form relationships with your professors.
You may chat for a minute before or after class or you can attend office hours. Perhaps your professor offers additional study sessions. Find out how and when you can connect in a more personal way.
4. Get Involved
There are numerous ways to get involved on campus.
If you live on campus, check out social activities that are sponsored or arranged within your dorm. Dorms create a sense of community and belonging on large campus, making the very big campus feel a bit smaller and more intimate. So get to know those who you reside with by getting involved in activities organized by your peers and residential leaders.
Additionally, clubs play an important role on campuses. Determine if there are clubs that are associated with your major or that support your interests that you can join.
Research opportunities and internships can not only provide the opportunity to get involved but can also help to prepare you for life after college providing experience to assist with acceptance to graduate school or when applying for future jobs.
Attend sporting events. This is a great way to stir a sense of school spirit. Or if you enjoy playing, you could participate in intramural sports. Research options for joining an intramural club team.
5. Get Out of Your Dorm Room
Find alternative locations to study. Study in the library. This provides the opportunity to utilize campus resources, and you may find that you are able to focus with a bit more ease if you are not in your dorm room where there may be distractions that prevent you from completing your work. Get out of your dorm room and visit with friends. While your number one goal is earning a degree, you should also enjoy the time you spend on a college campus, establishing relationships. Therefore, visit with friends. Attend social events. Have fun!