Posts Tagged ‘helpful college tips’
Freshman year of college, it is important to stay updated on every important date on the university calendar. In your first semester (or first quarter) everything is still so new, and you may forget important dates if you do not stay organized and mark your calendar accordingly ahead of time.
Depending on your university, freshman orientation will either be over the summer or in the fall right before classes start. If orientation is right before school starts, it could be either before or during Welcome Week, when many students head up to campus to hang out and get settled in for the year. To keep from getting the two mixed up, check when your orientation date is. This will ensure that you are on campus at the correct time and do not get penalized for missing important information.
The First Day of Class
As most students will arrive on campus at least a week before classes begin, your move-in date in the dorms is not a clear indicator of when classes actually begin. The first day of class is crucial to attend, as many professors relay important information for the year and will remove students from the class if they are not present, so make sure you know the date and don’t miss it!
Fall Study Break
Depending on your university, you may or may not have a fall study break sometime in October or November. Many students go home for fall break, and the farther ahead you plan, you will be able to find the cheapest available travel options. Also, if you have exams or papers due around your fall break, it is helpful to know that you have the extra time to study.
Depending on your university, you will have a different number of days off for Thanksgiving break. Some schools give students and faculty the entire week for vacation whereas others have a vacation that starts Wednesday at 5 pm the night before the holiday. Find out when your Thanksgiving break is early, and just like fall break, you will be able to book your travel arrangements early to get the best deals.
Every class will have final exams at different times in a week or two week period. It is important to find out when your exams are early in the semester so you can plan your study schedule accordingly.
When Grades Are Due
It is helpful to know when grades are due because some professors like to take their time while they’re grading. You may get frustrated if your grades are not posted right away, so knowing when the deadline is will help you stay in-the-know on when to expect them to be posted.
With all of the classes and prerequisites that are required to graduate, you may find that there is not enough time to finish your course load in the standard four-year time period. Taking summer classes at a school close to home, or wherever you are spending your summer, is a great way to be productive and accumulate extra credits. If this is a good option for you, you should be very careful while planning to ensure that you complete the process in keeping with your university’s guidelines. After a summer of studying, you don’t want to find out that your university won’t accept your hard-earned credits.
Find Out What is “Transferable”
Your university will have rules about what students must achieve in order for credits to transfer, which you can find out by speaking to your advisor or looking online. This may include a minimum final course grade (usually somewhere in the C+ to C- range), only taking classes at an accredited university, and taking courses that are relevant to your college requirements or your major. Universities also mandate that certain credits be taken on campus to maintain academic standards, and may limit the number of transfer credits that will be accepted on your transcript. Do your research to make sure that the courses you want to take meet these criteria and you will be able to get the credits you’re trying to fulfill.
Know All Of Your Options
You may be spending the summer in a city with more than one college or university nearby. Though you may have an idea of where you want to take classes, making a list of all schools in the area and the courses you are interested in will allow you to understand your options once you start your transfer credit inquiry. Your university may not accept all credits from all schools, so it is helpful to have a back-up plan in case your original idea does not work out how you intended.
Check Your University’s Website
Your school’s website has a detailed page about how their transfer process works. Universities have a pre-set list of classes and credits that will always transfer from other schools. Many universities strictly adhere to these lists and will not make any exceptions. These schools require students to submit grades after the course is completed to obtain credits. Other universities will allow you to petition for classes that are not on the list. In this case, you will have to submit an application to pre-approve your classes explaining why you feel they are relevant to your course of study and declaring which requirements you expect to fulfill by taking these classes.
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As a college freshman, you may be wondering which living situation is best for you next year. Should you live in the dorm again? Should you move into a house off campus? With the high number of students enrolled in each university, there is a strong demand for housing, and you may need to make this decision early on in your freshman year. Here are some helpful things to think about when choosing your living situation.
Pros to living in the dorms:
• Dorms provide students with a community living space and hundreds of other students. This will give you the opportunity to make new friends with people who you may otherwise not have met.
• Most dorms include a meal plan in the dining hall, which is convenient when you don’t have access to a kitchen. Some students like the idea of having meals provided for them without having to cook and shop for groceries—if this pertains to you too, living in a dorm will be a good option for you.
• Many universities offer designated dorms for upperclassmen, so you may be able to live with your friends and other sophomore students.
• There are opportunities for sophomore students to become Resident Advisors for freshmen. In many schools, Resident Advisors live in the dorms for free. This can be a great opportunity for students who are worried about the financial strains of living off campus.
• University dorms are a safe place to live because they require entrants to have some form of key or key card to gain access to the building. The building is secure, making it less likely that a break-in will occur.
Pros to living in a house:
• Living in a house with your friends can be a very fun experience!
• You will have more freedom and independence than you do when living in the dorms. While it is great to have the security of a dorm and the help of Resident Advisors, some students feel that in sophomore year, they’d rather live off campus and be more in control of their living situation.
• It is likely that you will have your own bedroom instead of having to share a double with a roommate.
• You can live with your friends and still have your own personal space. Houses provide a larger living space than dorm rooms, which allows you to live with people without constantly being on top of them.
• You will have access to a kitchen and be able to cook your own meals. Some freshmen are not particularly fond of the dining hall meal plan, so having the ability to prepare their own food is a perk to living in a house.
• You will only have to share a bathroom with your housemates and not an entire residence hall.
There are perks to both options, and whichever you choose, you’re going to have a great year.
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