Welcome back to UMF, beavers! We are so excited to have everyone back on campus as the academic year is kickstarting! As you begin this year, take time to reflect on yourself. What things you do well as a student? How can you improve as a student and a learner? Having a few months off from school is difficult, but we are here to give you advice on how to handle the transition like a champ, and to be ahead of the game!
Planning out your days is a huge life saver. Carrying and using a planner to help track your classes and accumulated coursework will make your time at the library more productive. Keeping track of your syllabus and highlighting due dates will keep you in the know. This way, when things come up you are able to handle the stress because you’re aware of your deadlines. Organization is one of the best ways to manage your stress. Click on some of the great apps that can help you stay on your game!
2. Stick to Your Plan
Having a daily plan is really important because everyone’s schedules can become so crazy that some days it feels difficult to catch a breath. That’s why creating a “to-do” list or having a handy app or planner will help you stay ahead of yourself. If you stick to your plan and study truthfully (no procrastinating), then you will have time for your social activities. Many students find that getting involved helps them plan out their days better, and they tend to procrastinate less.
3. Come to Class Prepared
Going to class prepared with all of the materials needed to succeed is a sign of excellence, and we want you all to succeed. Have you ordered your textbooks yet? ECAMPUS is UMF’s textbook ordering website, which is really convenient, since the books can be shipped right to the bookstore! Other suggested textbook ordering sites are www.chegg.com, www.amazon.com/textbooks, www.slugbooks.com and www.valorebooks.com. Completing your readings is a sign of your preparation for class. Readings are really important to the structure of many classes, as many class meetings are spent discussing the readings. At the end of the semester, the discussion participation often contributes to your final grade. So, plan when and how long your assigned reading will take you and stick to the plan. Make the reading assignments more enjoyable by finding new places to read and put forth your best effort! Going to class prepared also means showing up on time. Review your schedule and make sure you know where you need to be. Get there early and prepare yourself for the class.
4. Go to Office Hours
Office hours are very important because they allow you to engage with your professor/advisor in an unique way. Within the first few weeks of your courses, stop by and get to know your professors, because they want to get to know you just as much! If you are stuck on homework or understanding an assignment, go to office hours! Professors are usually really helpful and understanding and love when their students go the extra mile to better themselves and to understand what is expected of them. Office hours are posted on most syllabi, but if you are unsure, email your professors or walk by their office as most professors post hours on their doors.
5. Use Down Time Wisely
After a summer of working and (hopefully) relaxing, it is difficult to jump back into the swing of things. If your class gets out early and you have an hour before your next class, try heading to the library. That is one less hour you have to work on your assignments later that night. Time is everything! Need a five minute facebook break? Don’t do it, that will end up to being a twenty, forty, or even sixty minute facebook break. Of course, Netflix is great, but create a balance between work and play and use your time wisely.
6. Sleep is NOT Overrated
In order to stay on top of your studies, sleep is one of the most important things. Getting a full eight hours of rest will help you be successful at UMF. Classes do get tough and time often gets tight, but getting your sleep is very important.. Naps are totally awesome, but you still need a good night’s rest!
7. Take Care of Yourself (Eat healthy, Stay Hydrated and Exercise)
At times, college can be overwhelming and stressful, but don’t let that get the best of you. Find ways to manage your stress though things that you enjoy and make healthy choices. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables for a healthy meal. Try a fruit to satisfy that sweet tooth. Getting up and moving is very important for your physical and mental health. The FRC has great workout classes and are opened until 11pm during the school year so you can squeeze a workout into your busy schedule. Even exercising for twenty minutes gets the blood flowing and can increase your academic performance! Bring a water bottle around with you. Staying hydrated helps you focus and stimulates your brain cells. All of our classroom buildings and resident halls have water fountains, so take advantage of it. It is really easy to catch various illnesses while living with others, being stressed, and not focusing on your health. So, remember to eat healthy, stay hydrated and exercise.
8. Use Your Resources
We have great tutors on campus who can help you with almost anything, so why not use your resources? They are truly the experts and are really helpful. If your class holds SI (Supplemental Instruction) Sessions from a former student who did outstanding in the class, GO! Not only is the SI Sessions helpful at expanding and understanding the content but the SI leader often tells the professor who attends and that shows you are taking an initiative.
9. The Library is a Great Place
Utilize the quiet places on campus to stay focused on your coursework and readings. Your friends are awesome but can be really distracting and want to talk your ear off while your test is the next morning. Mantor Library has many options, including private study rooms (in the basement and on the second floor), the mezzanine, the Learning Commons (first floor), Mantor Cafe, and the third floor which is often the quietest. The Learning Commons, private study rooms and Technology Center have spaces that are designed for group work as well.
10. Get Involved
Whether its with sports teams, club teams, on-campus clubs, or the intramural teams at the FRC, get involved in something you are passionate about. By getting yourself out there, you meet new people who often times turn into friends and great study partners. UMF has a ton of awesome clubs and activities. Towards the end of September, there will be a club fair where you can learn about and sign up to join club(s). Head to our Instagram page @UMF_CEHR to hear about all of our education clubs!
Most of all, have fun! There are many resources to help you. People on our campus have been known to be very friendly and welcoming whether you are a new, transferring or returning student. We look forward to seeing you around campus this year and good luck! Study hard, take breaks, and have fun!