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Take notes, university bound, for new universe


Last updated 8/12/2020 at 4:04pm | View PDF

We’ve all heard it expressed ad nauseum by this point: School will look much different this fall.

That, of course, includes the college campus experience. And while some may be studying remotely and others are able to receive in-person instruction, there are some kernels of wisdom in reaching new heights in higher education that transcend a pandemic’s dynamics.

Here are helpful tips to live by — at least for the next four years — as excerpted from and based on surveys of hundreds of college graduates.

• Before selecting a major, consider taking a few related classes or even doing an early internship to make sure it’s actually a field of interest.

• Take a wide variety of classes the first two years as part of an experimental phase. Take courses of interest as well as those that hold less appeal. Give the mind and soul opportunities to be bent in new directions. It may lead to discovering a new area of passion previously unknown or considered undesirable.

• Sit toward the front of large lecture halls. Sitting in front makes it easier to pay attention and see whatever materials the professor is using to convey the information.

• Take advantage of office hours (in person or virtual). They are there for a reason. It’s a chance to get one-on-one help from a highly qualified teacher. If struggling in class, there is no reason not to meet with the teacher.

• Don’t fall behind. Don’t procrastinate. College school work is very fast-paced and it’s very difficult to catch back up.

• Use a study group rather than a late-night cram session.

• Find a nice study environment. Dorm rooms (and bedrooms) typically are not an ideal place to clearly focus on one’s studies.

• Make a real effort to get to know more people. This is a new beginning for everybody and a great place to make new friends. Be outgoing and ready and willing to meet new people, who are also looking for connections.

• Get involved and join organizations that interest you. This is another great way to meet people and give you student leadership experience.

• If living on campus, take advantage of the school’s fitness center. Fight off that freshman 15!

• The best test preparation is a good night of sleep and a good breakfast.

• Work on networking skills from the get-go, befriending students, professors and other campus officials. It’s one of the keys to getting a job after college.

• Take advantage of college internships. Many successful college grads got their foot in the door at the company they work for by doing an internship.

• Start exploring potential summer job/internship opportunities well before the school year ends to avoid a last-minute scramble.

And whether at home or away, maintain good communication with family. They’re your biggest supporters and great sources of comfort when needed.


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