To help get started on the right foot for the new semester, here are 5 key things to talk about with your new incoming freshman.
Plan to Plan and How to Embrace Unexpected Changes
For many students, college is either the first time on their own and/or a whirlwind of new responsibility added to their already hectic plates. Planning, while simple in theory and more difficult in execution, can often be overlooked as a key ingredient to set ones’ self-up for success. Guidance to students on how to breakdown larger projects earlier in the semester or effective ways to prepare for high-stakes tests can establish a model that keeps them on solid ground as they adjust to the rigors of college work. But with all great plans comes the unexpected, so let students know that hiccups in the plan (get sick mid-semester, fell behind on a project deadline, group project didn’t live up to expectations) are a normal part of the learning process.
Quality vs Quantity
For a lot of incoming freshman, the college workload can be a shock to the system. Often many of them take a scatter approach to their studies and work, turning in less than stellar material. One of the big reminders for new students is that quality is key; even if that means taking a lighter credit load this semester. Advise your students to ensure that they’re planning enough realistic study time to meet the demands of their course workloads.
Keep Yourself Healthy
Easy to say, hard to do but reminding students that keeping oneself healthy and whole so that they can focus on their studies is critical.
Campus resources, quite frankly, rock. So many students either don’t realize they exist, don’t know how to find them, or ignore how valuable they can really be. Remind your students about how their school is here to help them; tutoring services, health clinics, career services, and academic advisors are just a few of the amazing services that most schools have available to help students be successful.
Ask for Help…and Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!
Too often students forget that educators have a sincere passion for helping them learn and succeed and that it’s ok to ask for help! Communicate to your new students that asking for help is OK, whether it be with an instructor, a TA, or an academic advisor, but that it’s critical to ask for help early, rather than waiting until the last minute. Asking for help to pull an F to a C the week before the final isn’t the best course of action. Tell your students how to seek out assistance before the semester has flown by.