Preparing for the Semester

Last week I had the “opportunity” to help my sister (in-law) move-in to her new apartment. While moving her stuff into the apartment complex, with no elevator, it got me thinking about what students should be doing to prepare for the upcoming academic semester. Below are a couple of tips to get you started, but I would love to hear from you.

1. Check your university e-mail account-I haven’t printed a hard-copy of my syllabi in about three years, and I’m not alone. In an effort to decrease copies, and of course additional paperwork, many professors are e-mailing or posting their syllabi prior to the first day of class.

2. Check your course account-Most universities use some form of blackboard that allows for posting and submission of assignments, along with other features. As stated earlier, many professors post their syllabi there, so check it!

3. Know the entrances to your building-As simplistic as this sounds, not all buildings have signage at every entrance, nor is every entrance unlocked. (It’s always interesting to count the number of students who arrive late to class because of the time they spent trying to enter the building.)

4. Know the professor’s name– If you are enrolled in a course where many sections are offered (e.g. Public Speaking) it would be ideal to know the professor’s name to ensure you are in the right section. Sitting in on the wrong section of a course will typically result in you being dropped from the course you initially registered for thus interfering with your course load and financial aid.

5. Review notes from prerequisite courses-If you are enrolled in the an upper level course then it will not hurt to glance over your notes from the prerequisite course. At minimum know where your notes are from the prerequisite course.

6. Come with working utensils-Don’t assume that you will not do any work the first day of class, especially if you are in an upper level course. Many things can happen on the first day of class including note-taking, so be prepared.

What have I missed? What else should a student do to prepare for the upcoming semester?

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