Garry’s Guide: How to survive college from someone who’s been there

May 09, 2017

Garry Moyer

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     Freshman year is hard enough as is, but the first couple of weeks are stereotypically the hardest. The Scribe wants to help you out.

     All current students know that it takes work to stay afl \oat in college. Here are a couple pieces of advice I have found, both from personal experience (I’ve failed classes) and research (I spend a lot of time Googling ‘How to stop procrastinating’) in a well-organized format that you can save.

Visit your academic adviser    

     Main Hall, located on the east side of campus, has many resources like the Career Center, Disability Services and Academic Advising.

     Academic Advising is a huge help in clearing your mind and getting organized (so is sleep, so get at least seven to nine hours each night).

     During freshman year, you will be able to see your Success Coach; I know because they spammed me with emails. I finally determined it was in my best interest to pay attention and visited my Success Coach.

     Success Coaches are for freshmen only and are located in the Office of First Year Experience and Academic Advising. Advisers are split up according to students’ major.

     Academic advisers see students for walk-ins and appointments to help them adjust, point out common habits, review grades, give recommendations and advice.

     In general, you can ask them anything about academics, and if they do not already know the solution, they will either do their best to assist you or find someone that can.

     I see my academic adviser often, because I am terrible at organization. I recommend bimonthly recurring visits to start off with, and if you are doing well academically, just follow up through email. If you start slacking off, go in more often.

Talk to your professor, read your syllabus

     You are told by your parents and friends to talk to your professor whenever you have a question or need help.

     It’s common advice, but I know how hard it is to go in and visit them.

     The past spring semester, I had a professor that I was scared of. I thought that if I went in, he would yell at me for mistakes.

     At one point, I failed to finish a midterm test and tried to get the teacher’s assistant to relay my message to my professor.

     I spoke with the TA to figure out a solution — another tip that student should consider when getting help with assignments. The TA told me to send an email including the them and the professor to explain my request.

     The following week, I talked to the professor before class. After reminding him of my emails and telling him what the issue with the test was, he told me to follow him to his office to finish the test.

     I realized that the worst result you can get is a “no,” but it never hurts to ask.

     Notify your professor as soon as possible if you have any test-taking issues; don’t delay, as many misfortunes can be prevented by being proactive.

     Read the syllabus as well. All of it. Seriously, it’s not always just a bunch of useless rules to follow. In one of my syllabi I found in bold: “No laptops, all exams are open book.”

     That’s something that you are going to want to know.