For freshman, the first few weeks of college are often a combination of fun and stress. You are living on your own for the first time, meeting new people and — most importantly — learning a lot of new things to set you on the path toward your career. Any one of those things can be either exciting or overwhelming, depending on your point of view.
It is important to get off to a good start and settle into your new life as a college student in the first weeks. Here are a few pointers to help you start off strong:
- Go to class. You have probably heard this a hundred times by now, but this is the single most important thing you can do at college. It’s why here are here. One college class is filled with a lot more information than your average high school class, so attending each one is important.
- Make a schedule and don’t procrastinate. Keep a planner of when you have class and when your assignments are due. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to study or finish an assignment.
- Meet new people. College is a chance for you to make new friends who share your passion. Your new friends will also become your support group when things get stressful. Seek out social activities or student organizations on campus where you can get to know your fellow students.
- Stick around on the weekends. The first weekends of the school year are a great time to connect with your new friends outside of the classroom.
- Explore your surroundings. If you are new to Omaha, go see a movie, watch a concert or go walk around downtown and get acclimated to the area.
- Take care of yourself. Eat healthy and exercise to avoid the “freshman 15.” If you’re looking for a place to work out, try Nebraska Methodist College’s fitness center. Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Have fun! College is a great experience on many levels. Enjoy it and make the most of your opportunities.
The Fall 2013 session of online courses recently began at Nebraska Methodist College. We thought it appropriate during this back-to-school season to share some helpful tips to being successful in the virtual classroom:
Make your online course a priority. Take your online course just as seriously as if you were in an on-campus class. Your GPA can’t tell the difference. Be aware of all your assignments that are due — not just tomorrow, but over the coming weeks.
Manage your time. Online classes are great for working professionals with unpredictable schedules, but make sure to schedule study time every day to log into your online course. Try to set a routine study time each day. Work and family interruptions happen, but the routine will help you study consistently.
Make a study space. Study in a place where you can get away from distractions. Doing your coursework in an at-home office setting or at your local library is a good alternative to the couch in front of the TV or trendy coffee shop.
Read your course syllabus closely. It will lay out clearly the course expectations, grading, required textbooks, learning tools at your disposal, and required hardware and software for the course. Your syllabus is your course manual.
Back up your work. Before submitting your assignments, save them on your computer and back them up on a flash drive. Sometimes glitches happen and backing your work up multiple times will protect you from having to do it over.
Be involved. In online courses, participation is often a big part of your grade. It’s also where learning takes place. Login every day and take time to be part of the discussion.
Have a study buddy. Make a friend in the course with whom you can discuss questions and assignments either offline or through other channels.
Ask questions. If you are having trouble with an assignment, don’t be afraid to ask your professor about it. If you are having software problems, ask our Education Technology Department. (Have questions right now? Visit our Online FAQ.)
Use what you learn! Take what you learn in your online course and apply it in your real-world career.
August marks the start of the school year for many Nebraska Methodist College students, with the fall semester of on-campus classes beginning Aug. 19. Whether you are a freshman moving to campus for the first time or a returning upperclassman, here are a few tips to help you make a smooth adjustment to college life:
- Adjust your sleep habits now. If you’ve been in summer vacation mode, you may have gotten used to staying out and getting up at later times. Going to bed a little earlier now and setting your alarm clock for when you’ll be getting up for class will help you be alert and awake for your first day.
- Pack your things for moving day. If you will be moving to Josie’s Village or somewhere else near campus, it’s a good idea to start packing your things early to help avoid a stressful moving day. Packing early will also help you decide if you can make it all in one trip or determine if you’ll need help moving.
- Buy textbooks and school supplies. You don’t want to be the one borrowing a pen and a piece of paper on the first day of class. Stop into the NMC Bookstore to buy your books and stock up on supplies. Don't forget to get some NMC swag, while you're at it!
- Upgrade your technology. If you have a computer, now is a good time to perform any needed upgrades and updates or to install any new software you’ll need for the school year. You might also want to remove any unnecessary programs that are slowing down your computer.
- Have your car checked out. Whether you’ll be living on-campus or commuting, give your car a once-over before school starts. Change the oil, check the tires and have any needed maintenance done to help you avoid any preventable car problems during the school year.
- Stock up on supplies for your new home. Make sure you’ve got a good supply of all the necessary toiletries. Having some snacks on hand is also a good idea.
- Spend time with family. Make room for some “quality time” with your parents and siblings before classes begin. When school starts, they will miss you, and you will miss them too.
- Connect with your fellow students. If you’re a returning student, plan a get-together with a few of your close classmates. If you are a freshman, make contact with your roommate and get acquainted.
- Say goodbye to summer. If you are someone who absolutely must make the most out of your summer, get in one last hurrah. Go to the lake, lay by the pool or enjoy one last summer festival with your friends. (But don’t worry, fun is still allowed after classes start.)
- Set goals. Come to college knowing what you want to accomplish. Writing down a few goals will help you stay focused on what you want to achieve, whether that is maintaining a high GPA or pursuing a certain area of your career field.
What are you doing to get ready for the school year?