As fall semester is fast approaching, some of you are beginning college for the first time, some are continuing on your current track, and some are returning after a break in your studies, or to begin a new area of study altogether. Adjustment is the word as you move through your college experience, particularly during these unprecedented times.
Below are some tips to support your efforts for a success semester:
Prioritize your attendance: There’s no principal’s office in college, and you will not find many people clocking your time. However, don’t cheat yourself by skipping class; you’ll miss out on lecture material, fall behind due to procrastination, and miss out on real-time connections with your classmates. Protect your investment (remember, you’re paying) by showing up for class!
Avoid late work/make-up assignments and exams– Try to complete your work timely; make-up assignments and exams are difficult to schedule for both you and your professor, can compound your work in other courses, and may lead to the development of the poor habit of pushing things off. Time management is imperative for your success! If you need accommodations, apply early and openly communicate with your professors should an emergency arise.
Do your own work!– Plagiarism is not only an academic integrity offense, but it robs you the opportunity of showing off your abilities. Be careful not to just change words around from a source; this is known as turn-of-phrase plagiarism, and is still considered cheating! Always cite your sources. Tutoring is available for free through NOVA, and includes paper reviews. Having a late night? Don’t fret! Tutor.com offers 24/7 tutoring services accessible through CANVAS.
Put down that phone– Even the best multi-taskers can get distracted by their phones. Make sure to get the most of your lectures by putting your phone down; you won’t miss vital information, and will convey to your professor that you care and are paying attention. Excessive use can impact your sleep and mood; too much social media time is liked to depression and anxiety symptoms.
Utilize academic advising– Check in with your advisor at least once a semester to make sure that you are taking the classes you desire, and that they follow the track of your degree or certification program. They can also help you if you need to change or decrease your case load. Academic advisors can inform you about extracurricular activities and other interests, and how to fit them into your schedule.
Join extracurricular activities– To round out your college experience, it’s a great idea to heck out and engage in clubs and campus activities. Consider connecting with campus clubs and organizations, and joining the Virtual Student Union, which will allow you to forge relationships with your fellow students (and they make great résumé builders).
Stay healthy– Eat a healthy diet, get adequate sleep, and move your body! Establish a routine in your school schedule and in your personal life, and maintain mental wellness through taking breaks, maintaining boundaries, and checking in with family and friends and expressing your feelings. Resources for a variety of wellness needs are provided through the NOVACares office. You can also reach out for help with concerns you have at NOVA by submitting a NOVACares report.
You are embarking on a remarkable journey to validate and expand your potential through higher education; display your talents and skills. High fives to an awesome fall semester!