Surviving the first month


Now that the semester is underway, with deadlines looming and the welcome back parties in full force, you may find yourself stretched a little thin. Whether you are a new or returning student, the first month is always the hardest. That is partially because the first month is often the one with all the ‘can’t miss’ parties. Plus, the pace of college is quick and it is easy to fall behind on readings. Now the influx of great parties is not a bad thing, you want to have an active social life, but keep in mind that your professors won’t accept a hangover as an excuse for a late paper. Catching up on all your readings the night before is not the best way to learn the semester’s material; you really don’t want to be in that position. Being social is an important component in your college experience, but have fun explaining that to mom and dad when you are placed on academic probation.

So here are some tips for surviving your first month of college:

1)      Get your syllabus and see what you have due over the semester. This way you can plan your studying and social life accordingly.

2)      If you do go out, don’t go out for the whole night. I recommend showing up fashionably late, parties and nightclubs don’t usually get hopping till later on in the night. This way you can get some of your readings done or get an early start on that English assignment.

3)      Keep up on your readings. It is a lot easier to read your assigned readings as they come then the night before an exam.

4)      Get the name and e-mail of someone in your class. This way if you miss a class because you are sick, or for some other reason, you can get the notes that you missed. Be willing to return the favor if needed.

5)      Get a job! College is expensive, so this can help ease the student loan debt. Plus, having a job will help you meet more people and give you some money to play with.

6)      Become familiar with the library. The library is an amazing resource, from research sources to citing, you can find the tools for a great paper in the library.

7)      Check out the writing centre skills centre in the Student Support Centre (room 1621). Here you can get help from a tutor with any writing issues you may have, such as grammar and punctuation. They are not going to write your paper for you, but they will help provide you with the skills to improve your writing skills. Make sure you don’t go see them the day your paper is do, go see them early in the process. E-mail carl.hahn@rdc.ab.ca for more information.

The key to having a good social and academic life is finding a balance between the two. That balance depends on what is normal for you and your course load. Enjoy your first month of college and all it has to offer.

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