Advice for New University Students
- Set high personal and academic standards for yourself, and live
them. Listen to that little voice inside you that says, “I can do this.” Believe
in yourself. Realize that school is work; it’s not play time. Settle
for nothing less than your very best. Willingness to accept anything
less than the
very best too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Strive for an “A” in
all your courses. If you fall short of an “A”, you might
earn a “B”.
If you fall short of a “C”, you might earn a “D” or “F”.
to understand. Don’t merely memorize; increase your depth
of understanding. You need to attempt to fully comprehend what you need
to know and be able to
do as a result of your education.
- Remember that grades count. The best
jobs with the best pay most often go to those with the best grades. High
grades imply intelligence, personal
excellence, and dedication to seeing a job well done. High grades can make all
in landing the ideal job or getting into graduate school at the institution
- Investigate study and test taking skills. Educational
researchers have studied what it takes to get ahead academically. Take advantage
what they can tell
- Get to know a wide range of people – faculty, staff,
and students. Networking is important. It is often true that who you know is just as
important as what
you know. Use your acquaintances to advantage, but don’t take advantage
o Meet with your departmental advisor early on and frequently; he or
she can provide valuable and timely advice.
o Get to know your teachers; just because they might have a Ph.D. is
no reason to believe that they are not interested in you as a student.
o Get to know the majors in your field, and form a study group.
put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Work should come
before pleasure. Manage your time effectively; set up a timeline for getting
completed in each of your courses. Set aside adequate time for homework,
relationships, and work. You need not always finish every task all at
once. Remember, you can write at 365-page book every year if you only write
- Break your large tasks down into manageable subtasks. Large
jobs rarely can be completed at one setting. Tackle small parts of a large
cramming. Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare; slow and steady
is often better than jackrabbit sprints.
- Chose your friends carefully. Friends
can support you in your efforts to maximize the benefits of a college education.
Friends too set on having
a good time at
the expense of a good education can be seriously detrimental. Get to
know people who express high social, academic, and personal values.
- Honesty is
the best policy. Avoid cheating in all its forms – collusion,
plagiarism, copying, etc. Students who cheat seriously fail to learn
what is oftentimes important, and this doesn’t help them in the long
run. Sometimes the only things they do learn – after getting caught – is
that cheating doesn’t pay.
- Don’t ignore or deny your personal
and academic problems. Problems will often get worse if they are not directly
addressed in a timely fashion.
in any of its many forms can lead to a small problem getting much worse.
Get help when you need it. Speak to your course instructors, your advisor,
- Don’t make important decisions based on second-hand information. Jumping to rash conclusions based in incorrect information can cause you
personal and professional problems. If you are uncertain about something,
check it out before you decide.
- Seek out special opportunities. College
is a time to expand your mind and your experiences. Select your general education
courses wisely. Consider student
research, field trip opportunities, or a new language. Choose courses that will
your world; avoid taking courses merely because they are “an easy
a “blow-off course.”
- Get a job. Studies show that students
who work from about 8-10 hours per week tend to organize and spend their “free” time
more wisely. Overworking or not working at all sometimes can be detrimental
- Don’t over-commit yourself. Mature students always take
responsibility for their actions – all of them. Some students will
commit themselves to more work than they are capable of completing. Don’t
let this happen to you; you owe it to others to be honest to your word.
yourself a well-rounded person. Consider all four dimensions of life
as you strive to educate yourself – physical, spiritual, intellectual,
and social. Spend time each day developing each of these four dimensions.
- Take responsibility for yourself. When some students begin college life
their sense of personal responsibility seems to disappear. Parents or
are not longer “cracking the whip” making certain that everything
is getting done correctly or on time. That work is now the responsibility
student. Failure to recognize this fact has resulted in even some of
the best high school students failing as university students.