After completing the first three years of our bachelor’s degrees, the seniors at the TODAY like to think we have learned a thing or two about college. We want to share this advice with the freshman just coming in, the sophomores who have a year under their belt but haven’t quite figured everything out and really anyone else who wants to read our advice.
During your freshman year, try to get as many of your general education and 100-level classes out of the way. These classes are a little more lenient and full of freshman and sophomores. When you are upperclassmen and you actually want to learn in class, not socialize, you’re not going to want to be in class with students who don’t take it as seriously.
If mathematics is not your strong suit, don’t take a class with a professor who barely speaks English, because math itself is like another language. If you decide to stay in such a class you’ll end up becoming your own teacher and will most likely find yourself in the Math Learning Center every week. Just so you know, the MLC is located in the Physics and Mathematics Building, Room 132.
This brings us to our next piece of advice. If you can tell within the first week or two that you won’t be able to handle the work load, or get a professor you can’t understand—or don’t want to understand—drop the class before the drop period. Recognizing this before you earn the grade will be very beneficial to your self-esteem and your GPA. A lot of the time, a good professor is all you need to do well.
Also, take advantage of the services offered at CSU-Pueblo. For those of you taking a foreign language class, the Language Center, located in the Psychology Building, Room 147, is a good place for extra help. For help with your papers, and you will write a lot of them, the Writing Room is located in the Library and Academic Services Center, Room 251. The General Education Tutoring Center is in the same room.
Though these are not all the services CSU-Pueblo has to offer, they are some of the most helpful, especially for underclassmen. If you want more information regarding the university’s services, it’s website is a good place to start, but walking around campus is a close second. Get out there everyone and explore the place, it’s going to be your second home for the next few years.
One of the biggest mistakes students make in college is not asking for help if they don’t understand the material. If all you take from this article is to ask questions, that’s fine, because it’s probably the most important piece of advice we can give you. Question everything if you have to; just make sure you understand what’s going on. You are paying for this education, remember that.
Don’t let your timidity be an excuse to not ask questions. If you don’t like talking in front of people, take notes in class then schedule a private meeting with your professor. They are more than glad to help. If you don’t like talking in front of people and wish to change that, consider taking the class Speaking and Listening—we recommend Dana Ihm.
Remember to also exchange numbers with at least one person in each class. When you’re absent or have questions on a homework assignment, it feels better to bother a classmate rather than your professor.
To end this seemingly incessant “advice column,” we would just like to say, get involved. Go to sporting events, go to the free concerts and comedy skits, and go to the speeches. Join a club if you have to, just don’t waste this experience. College is what you make it to be.