Staying ahead of the class

The Connection’s guide to surviving the semester

By The Schoolcraft Connection Editorial Staff

Going back to school can be a stressful time of year. Wondering how to pay for tuition, textbooks and supplies can be a daunting task of endless to do’s. Preparing for the first day of class is the first step into creating a stable foundation for success for the rest of the semester. This can be done in several ways from being prepared, getting organized, finding resources to help and getting involved on campus.

Be Prepared

The worst first impression a student can make is to arrive late and disrupt a class. One should arrive early to class by five to ten minutes. This way a student can find a seat, make sure they are in the right classroom and be ready to learn when the professor begins. Another step to be successful in one’s academic studies is note taking. In order to be an effective note-taker, remember these important rules: be alert, aware, organized, neat and tidy. It’s important to be alert so that the student is capable of in-taking the information. Being aware goes hand-in-hand with being alert, because the student has to be sure that what they’re writing down is factual and relevant. Using colorful pens or a laptop to take notes is another way to keep track of notes, stay alert and engaged during lectures.

Get Organized

Buying a planner is an essential part of being organized for school and work. A planner or keeping a schedule on one’s phone with alarms can help to keep homework, work schedules and personal engagements etc. organized in one place. This can also be a place to set up a schedule to follow to ensure that all work is getting done and turned in on time.

Asking for Help

The campus offers the Learning Assistance Center (LAC), the Writing Fellows and the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program to all current students. These resources are for students who are looking for ways to clear up confusion on important information in their classes, would like feedback on their written assignments varying from lab reports to lengthy research papers and structured study sessions facilitated by peer students. Take advantage of these support services to get back on track and feel confident.

Relieve Stress

Another important thing to keep in mind is how to deal with all the stress you experience. From balancing that intense academic schedule to fitting in your part-time job and social life, stress is nearly unavoidable. Some small and reasonable activities such as exercising, eating healthy foods, reading a book of one’s own choice or watching tv can all help ease the everyday stress levels.

Get Involved

Navigating successfully through your classes is the most important priority in college, but don’t forget about getting involved on campus. Many students do not realize just how getting involved on campus can help prep them for more opportunities down the road. Finding an activity on campus that students love to do opens up many doors for the future as well as it builds a great resume. The Student Activities Office offers over 30 clubs on campus where one can get involved in. Clubs ranging from academic to social, cultural to sports are available to choose from.
Being prepared for the new and sometimes hectic environment will certainly make the transition smoother. Getting involved and making new friends is a great way to enjoy the time on and off campus as well as strive for success. College isn’t impossible and there are plenty of resources to help along the way.