Starting College Classes – Tips For College Freshmen

Ok college freshmen, chances are the first exciting weeks of freshmen orientation, dorm hall icebreakers, and pre-football rallies are starting to wind down. That means it’s time to pack your lap tops, zip up your back packs, and head to class.

But if you’re never attended a 300+ person lecture, or the follow-up discussion session, you may be wondering what you need to do to prepare yourself. Here are some tips to get ready for class and make the most out of your first semester:

Tip #1: Show up for the first day of class
We know, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and skip that first 9:00 a.m. biology lecture. But first classes can be surprisingly crucial: it’s when professors often announce changes to the reading, changes to the schedule, and decide which people on the wait list are going to be admitted.

For those professors that prefer to communicate in person rather than online, it’s especially important to show your face. Believe it or not, some even take attendance, meaning not showing up can impact your final grade.

Tip #2: Sit at the front of the room
Lecture halls can be big-really, really big. And while it’s tempting to sit way in the back where no one can see you, these are the spots where you’re most prone to MLNS-Mid-Lecture Nap Syndrome. If you sit in the front where the professor can see you, you’re more likely to stay awake, take notes, and get your money’s worth out of each and every lecture.

Tip #3: Don’t buy the books until after the first day
Sometimes a particular class or professor can sound absolutely amazing-until you sit down and try to listen to him or her talk for an hour. So it’s best to wait to buy the books until you’re sure you want to take the class, so yourself a trip back and forth to the bookstore. Professors have been known to change/add/drop books at the beginning of class too, so make sure the list is finalized before you make your purchases.

Tip #4: Come to lecture and discussion prepared
Yes, those scenes from “Legally Blonde” are true. While you may not be in law school, you could very well be in a lecture, class, or discussion where the professor or instructor randomly calls on students during class. Some even throw pop quizzes into the mix. So do yourself a favor and make sure you’re current on your reading

Tip #5: Make friends with someone in your discussion
If you’re in a big class, it can be hard to meet people. But the discussion sessions held in conjuncture with lecture can be the perfect time to connect with someone in your class for study sessions, group projects, and paper editing. Who knows-a current classmate could even become a future colleague or employer in the future.

Helping Your Children Find Their Way When Starting College – A Parent’s Starting Guide to College

College: it’s happening to you. It’s not easy to say goodbye to your child when he or she goes off to school for the first time, especially if you aren’t sure if they are truly able to care for themselves. However, you can help your son or daughter to prepare for college life with some simple tips and a few tricks that you can put up your sleeve so he or she can be confident in their abilities.

First of all, most college students aren’t going to be able to cook for themselves. If you’ve taught your child to cook, that’s excellent, and if he or she is in a student apartment with a kitchen, it’s an important asset to have. At the same time, many college students are in dorm rooms without a real kitchen, limited to hot plates and microwaves. That doesn’t mean to teach your child to eat fast food constantly the way that many assume is necessary in college life. Rather, teach them to eat healthy foods that can be prepared on the hot plate or in the microwave. There are often ways to alter a recipe to make it microwave friendly, and you can help your student stock up on low-sodium canned goods that can be heated on the hot plate.

Another skill that is important when it comes to sending your child off to live the college life is that of washing clothes. Young men especially are often lacking such basic knowledge, and it’s important to make sure that he knows the difference between washing ‘whites’ like towels and underwear versus washing delicates. It may also be wise to let your son or daughter know that you can’t toss everything in the dryer. Also address the issue of dry cleaning and teach your children to look at tags for care information.

That leads to another important piece of information that can come in handy as your student enters the college life – ironing. It’s probably true of a majority of kids who are used to their parents washing and ironing their clothes for them that they don’t know anything about how to care for their clothes, dropping them on the floor or the bed in a pile to be dealt with later by someone else. What that means is, in order to be dressed appropriately in the real world of college, it’s important to know how to remove wrinkles caused by washing and drying clothes.

While these may seem like the most basic of life skills, they are the pieces of knowledge that are important to the success of a student fresh out of high school leaving home to commence their journey into college life. If you can provide the basis of knowledge of these skills, you can rest assured that your son or daughter can be self-sufficient even when you are not around.

Why Every High School Graduate Should Join The Military Before Starting College

Everyone has their own belief regarding enlistment and service in the United States Armed Services. I personally believe that every high school graduate should at least consider a career with the US military. Perhaps not a lifetime career, but a single enlistment tour. In this article I share my personal thoughts on why I believe that YOU should join the military after high school.

If you are an average high school student, you may not be ready to work for and plan your entire future right out of high school. Perhaps your future has been laid out or planned for you, or perhaps you are following the plans laid out for someone else. And it may sound something like this:

  • Graduate High School
  • Apply to college
  • Study, do well, graduate
  • Get a job and make a living
  • Work for 40 – 50 years
  • Retire

If this is your plan, I’m not knocking it in any way. But if at any point the word ‘boring’ came to mind, I agree with you. This is too structured for a teenager. If you start on this route with utmost determination you will succeed. However, you may find yourself distracted by a number of different factors as you follow this laid-out plan.

Issues that tend to come up include:

  • College is not cheap
  • Work takes away from study time
  • You have family obligations
  • You prefer fun over studying
  • You have a need for adventure
  • You are not mature enough (not a bad thing) to fully apply yourself to college

If even one of the above apply to you, you mind find yourself considering dropping out of college. Perhaps you will push through, many do, or perhaps you will constantly be thinking “I wish there was another way”.

And there is another way. What if you detour from your life and college plans to serve a stint in the United States Armed Services? By joining the military at a young age, you will ultimately place yourself in a better position to succeed down the line.

Military training will give you the discipline and maturity lacking in many teenagers. But you will learn this in a fun way. I really enjoyed (US NAVY) bootcamp and believe you will too. You will learn customs, discipline, respect, and gain pride in knowing that you are serving your country.

The military will train you for any job that you desire, so long as you qualify during the enlisting process. Where else can you find on the job training where you actually get paid in the process? Military experience goes a long way when applying for a civilian job after your military discharge.

The military will give you the opportunity to see the world and experience many cultures without having to pay a dime out of your own pocket. Not only do you get to see the world, you will also earn money in the process. If you are smart you will save this money to help pay for expenses down the line.

And last but not least, not only will your military service open many military related scholarship opportunities for college, but you will also get a great deal of college credit from your bootcamp and additional training.

By the time you complete your military enlistment you will be miles ahead of your classmates. You will have money in the bank, a scholarship and college credits waiting to be tapped into. Your adventure bug will be greatly fulfilled, and you will have a much greater maturity when starting college after your service.

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