|04-08-2007, 03:20 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Tips for College Students
In the spirit of Steve's entry "10 Tips for College Students", what would college students/graduates advise us incoming freshman/future college students?
Some general areas for advise
1) choosing classes and major
2) dorm life
3) time management
4) how to get to know the profs
5) getting a job?
6) realizations after graduating
7) tips for getting good recs, getting into grad school, getting a good job
Any advice would be appreciated .
Last edited by Stargirl; 04-08-2007 at 01:49 PM.
|04-08-2007, 05:36 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
2) LIVE IN A DORM, its a life changing experience for some, a long party for others, and hell for the purely academically inclined who hate fun.
3) do time management.
4) Go up and say Hi, ask about office hours and what kind of questions they'd be willing to help you with. Usually they're amazed at your initiative and happy to help you along.
5) Only if you think you can handle it. Money is great, and necessary for dorm fun sometimes. Clothes don't wash themselves, it takes a few quarters to make them do that...
6&7) I'm so far from graduation its depressing.
My piece of advice is find your Balance. Some students party all week and avoid studying at all costs. However the failure and dropout rate with these guys are really high. There are very few people who can party all the time and still pull A's on their finals. I knew a couple guys who did this. They got drunk every other night, went out to all the clubs and never seemed to study. Although they did great on their own, their friends who followed them ended up failing miserably and dropping out. Those two guys are still getting wasted and I hate them for it
Other students avoid all kinds of indulgence and just study all the time. Their GPA is stellar, but they've lost out on the college experience and have little real world abilities and can't land jobs.
Find your own place in the middle and have fun.
Last edited by Truefire; 04-09-2007 at 04:31 AM. Reason: you got it ;)
|04-09-2007, 02:53 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
I'll pass on the one thing that seemed to make me much more successful and efficient (compared to before I started doing it):
During your first weekend after classes, sit down with all your syllabi out and make a day-by-day calendar for the entire semester or quarter. Write down what is due each day (according to syllabus, which may change, necessitating updates) all the way to the end. This will give you a better idea of not only the direction of the class, but what days you will be swamped by multiple assignments, readings, or tests. I could look at my whole semester when I had a few extra study minutes and start working on readings that fell during crowded weeks. Also, it feels great to cross things off as you go along and see that you have everything done.
|04-09-2007, 03:05 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
1) I don't know how I can help you pick your classes and major because this is pretty much your job. I have no idea what you like and what you aspire to be, but I would say the same thing that other people say, try to learn as much as you can your Freshmen year and get into a major by your second year...unless you want to prolong your stay at the university.
I made a huge mistake of not doing this....I didn't slack off or anything like that...it was just I was taking classes that I had nothing to do with anything because I had no idea what I liked. Now I know that I'm only interested in classes that are hard and challenging (computer science, econ, math classes that sort of thing). So the only reason I'm in my major is because I find it challenging, not because I love it.
2). I would advise you to move into an apartment right away, because dorms are a hassell. You have to re-apply after every year and move yourself stuff out after every year. In an apartment you live there as long as you like. I lived in a dorm my first year and it was great because I had great roommates. But there was a some problems because they were White...and I grew up in a place where minorities were abundant...it just felt wierd. Sometimes they would go out together and not invite me/not let me know....and sometimes when I was hanging out with them, it felt awkward because I was of a different race, it wasn't because I was lacking social skills or whatever it was just because different people do different things/different interests and none of the stuff they did interested me. But other than that, we had a lot of fun in the dorms.
3). Do not ever slack off....ever. That was my biggest mistake. You can take some time off like a Friday night but the other days you should get to it....of course this determines how hard your classes are. If they're easy then yeah you have more free time. And another thing is to have discipline is if you live in a dorm there are people that's going to want to bother you or hang out with you.
4). There's no point in this unless you're having problems in the class. If you feel that there's a problem or you don't know how to do the homework, then go see them right away.
5). Good idea. They have easy jobs at the university. Like being a janitor, you can sign up for these types of jobs right away and they will pay you 8 bucks an hour. Or you can get a job at the library sitting there and not do ANYTHING.
6). Focus on the now. Forget graduating, that's when you either do postgraduate or you get a job. If you like studying and learning more, then you should go to grad school, or you can just get started. Isn't that how it works?
7). Read above...
|04-09-2007, 06:19 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Network, Network, Network - As an incoming freshman, you will most likely either have:
I say network, but that makes it sound more "professional" than it really is. You can envision it as making friends or making contacts, but either way it will make a huge difference.
Be a good student because it gives you options that bad students do not have. Ideally, you will find that you are drawn to certain areas and activities. pursue these things and your major and career will mostly take care of themselves. Don't forget to have fun!
|04-09-2007, 06:52 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Don't stress out about picking a major. I picked a major I thought I would love, and I graduated, started working in the field, and realized I totally hated it. The truth is I still don't know the tried and true way of knowing how to pick the right major. But I know now, that it having a degree in a certain area doesn't mean you are doomed to have jobs in that field forever. I think in hindsite I would have taken more time to get to know myself and pick something I would truly enjoy.
|04-10-2007, 01:35 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2007
You are already way ahead of your peers by asking others for support.
One of the biggest things you will discover on this site...and it applies here is doing what you enjoy.
I remember being in high school and everyone telling me that I need to start taking courses to prepare for college....so that I could get a real job.
At the time I really loved to draw, however began focusing on a curriculum others felt was "right" for me. I focused on careers based on income and not doing what I enjoyed.
This was a major mistake. The financial impact and more importantly the lack of fulfillment with this approach is a very costly price to pay.
Stargirl...you will do great. Take subjects you are interested in and enjoy, and also keep an open mind. What you choose to pursue today can change...so be open to that.
Don't feel like you have to determine your entire life on this one decision, you can always make adjustments along the way.
Wish you the best!
|04-13-2007, 03:31 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
1) pick something that will help you get your first-entry job. Most people's real jobs differ greatly from their majors, but it might be nice to have a strong connection between your major and your "first" job.
2) Keep your dorm room door open. People will come in. Get to know them. Join clubs.
3) Fool yourself into thinking that all your major assignments are due 2 weeks before they're really due. Then take them to the writing center if there is one or have some one else edit it for you. Greatly improves your papers and keeps them on time.
4) Go to office hours and ask them questions. This helps if you want them to write recommendations for you. They'll know you better.
5) You've got to follow that internal guidance. But good recommendations don't hurt. As for working during school, go for it. I worked 8 hours a week, no problem. My brother is now doing 15 hrs a week, no problem. If you've got an easy schedule, getting something you like or something that's not too difficult. It's easy for students to get jobs on campus.
6) You really need to know everything. One major doesn't do it. It all comes full circle. But you don't need to worry about it; eventually you'll find out what you need to know.
7) Get good grades.
Good luck, have fun!
|04-14-2007, 02:27 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
But I can offer a little knowledge of liberal arts and public universities in the USA.
First, I'd suggest choosing a major that interests you. Don't worry about the job market or any of that stuff. Just find something that you'll be passionate about. It makes the college experience incredibly enjoyable and challenging.
Secondly, most advice or intuition about how grad schools or the job market will respond to your major are contradictory! Intuitively, you'd think that a geology undergraduate degree will look most impressive to a graduate program in geology, right? Not necessarily. I know of geology graduate programs that will NOT accept undergraduate geology degrees, or at least give little preference to them. Why? Because undergraduate geology degrees have the reputation of being one of the easier sciences. These grad programs in geology will often prefer physics students, chemistry students, etc.
Businesses or business grad school programs sometimes are more impressed with a math or physics degree than a business degree.
In other words, don't take your own intuition or even well-meaning advice too seriously; there are way too many surprises and contradictions. So you may as well just go with the major you're most passionate in learning. You'll excel more anyway.
In terms of classes, my only advice is this: don't get too strung-up over having a specific schedule. You'll eventually face the hell that is known as scheduling conflicts. You probably won't take all the classes you want, and you'll take a few that you never expected to take. But keep in mind that some classes that you were unwillingly forced to take may turn out to be surprisingly good. Likewise, high expectations for a class are often met with disappointment. Just don't stress too much over class selection, and be comfortable with the fact that fate will do much of the decision making for you.
2) Dorm life. Don't obsess over getting a single. The privacy is great, especially for all the studying you think you'll do, but shared rooms turn out to be more memorable and surprisingly manageable if you have the right attitude.
3) Time management. Keep yourself busy. The more crowded your schedule, the more efficient your time management. A really light workload may lead to laziness that is difficult to overcome.
4) Get to know professors by going to office hours. Or do research with them if you're in the sciences. Pretty simple I guess.
5) If you can get an on-campus job, then get it. Again, a crowded schedule will force you to get ************ done.
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