I love stepping out from working all day into the moon light and warm air. However, while driving home the other night I soon heard pattering on my windshield. Could it be raining? As I looked closer I realized that I hadn’t been totally oblivious as I walked to my car that evening. The noise […]
Whether you are staying on campus or staying home with family, your first semester of college can be a stressful time in your life. New classes, new professors, a new place to live, and being away from home provide new challenges for which you may not be prepared. Good news for some, college gives you an academic fresh start. Students who have done poorly in high school are no longer dogged with a low GPA. Students who have done well in high school often already have the organizational skills needed to be successful in college.
A quarter of all students drop out of college in their freshman year, and less than half survive past the sophomore year. The best way to ensure that you are part of the half that makes it to graduation day is to start off on the right foot. Let’s look at a few things that will give you the best foundation to launch a great academic experience.
- Don’t overload. Taking too many classes in your first semester will only cause you unnecessary stress. As you browse your course catalogue, you will undoubtedly find many courses that sound amazing. You know that you need to commit to your core classes as well. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, take 4 or 5 classes at most.
- Go to Orientation. Bring a pad of paper and a pen. The college wants you to succeed. The orientation will not only provide you with school policies but also ways that you can involve yourself in college life. Getting to know the campus and what is offered will save you time and aggravation.
- Meet your Academic Advisor. Academic advisors are there to guide you through your educational experience. They know that you are just starting out, and they understand that you may not be familiar with how this whole thing works. Your advisor can help you plan and pick classes that will best fit your major. Stay in touch with them even after picking classes as you will need their help at the end of the semester when you are choosing classes again! The goal of the Academic Advisor is to see you succeed and see you walk across the stage.
- Meet your professors. Professors will post Office Hours in the syllabus. Particularly in the beginning of the year, they will find themselves quite lonely during this time. Swing by and introduce yourself. This will give you time to feel out the professor, making a good impression at the same time.
- Always go to class. This seems like a no-brainer, but going to class is important. It may seem tempting to steal one more day of summer, what’s one class going to hurt? In a 16 week semester where you only take two classes a week, the answer is, a lot. Not only do you miss a chance to ask the professor to explain greater details during the class, but absences count towards a participation grade. If you know you are going to miss a class, tell your professor ahead of time. Maintaining communication with your professor shows them that you are responsible, and take their class seriously.
Jason Biggs said it best, “Like anyone who goes to college; you are leaving a familiar surrounding and a comfortable environment and your friends and everything, and you are starting fresh. It can be pretty daunting.”
College is your new beginning. This is a time of chrysalis. You will be expected to grow and mature. Take your time, plan carefully, be thorough, stay positive, and succeed. You can do it!
When we are preparing for college dorm life, we think of all the essentials; books, pencils, paper, backpack, and tablet. On college move-in day, the most important things you will unpack are the ones that help you feel at home right away. That sweet new notebook with the adjustable thingamajig will be great in class, […]
Your first few weeks in college and your new college dorm life can be exciting, yet also stressful. New professors, new friends, and a new place to live can turn your world upside-down. Staying organized is the best and easiest way to cut down on those stress levels. Dorm rooms are notoriously small, with the average size being less than 225 square feet. That is a 15×15 room that you will likely be sharing with at least one other person. Here are a few creative ideas to keep your dorm room organized.
1 Sketch your room
It might sound grade school, but the first thing you should do is make a scale drawing of your room and the immobile contents. This can be done on graph paper that you can keep in your wallet or purse, or even digitally drawn on a tablet or phone and kept in the cloud for easy access everywhere. The advantage here is that you know how much room you really have when shopping for organizers or furniture.
2 Remember the purpose
Your dorm is your home away from home, but it is also your personal space to study and work. Posters of your favorite band may remind you of home, but it is also important to design a practical study zone. Use wall space efficiently by adding cork boards or white boards to help you remember your class schedules and test dates, or even keep a countdown until the days until you can return home to see family!
3 Think on three dimensions
Since horizontal space is limited, think up and think under. Bed risers can release an additional 20 cubic feet of space. Instead of just barely being able to cram a shoebox under your bed, you can fit up to 10 milk crate style organizers under your bed. That’s a lot of space to store those extra shoes, sports equipment, and towels, and extra sheets. Make use of desk cubbies to store writing tablets and keep homework projects organized and off your desk.
4 Keep it clean
Communal showers mean lugging your stuff to the shower room and back. Make your life easier by keeping your bath gear in a single tote. There are a variety of carry-alls on the market, ranging from simple buckets to multi-drawer organizers. If you’re looking for something masculine, try a fishing tackle box! Remember, shower areas tend to be steamy and wet, your choice of toiletry organizer should be made in such a way that it allows air to circulate.
Your comfort at college may have a great deal to do with your success. Staying organized will help you with both comfort and staying focused on the classwork. Students may spend as much as 14 hours a day in their dorms between sleeping and studying. Make the best use of your space to cut the clutter and give yourself the best shot at success!