You Need To Be On Time

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Be on time for every class, every day. I understand that it’s hard to walk in on time in lecture halls of 300 students or with professors who are cool and don’t really care. However, you need to be on time. It’s just one of those things. You’ll be doing yourself a favor. You’ll know what is going on in class and you’ll get the seat you want. Even if professors don’t take attendance, they will take note of the students who arrive late and the students who fall asleep in class. Some professors will make a point to call you out on that but many times professors just won’t care. What a waste of money. Pay tens of thousands of dollars for a service that you sleep right through.  For those of you who want to be on time and who want to stay awake in class but just can’t, here are some things I suggest.

  1. Schedule your classes for later in the day.
  2. Research any online classes that the school offers and consider taking one.
  3. Start drinking coffee.
  4. Go to bed early!
  5. Go to class with the goal of participating – if you walk into a class telling yourself that you will raise your hand and participate then you will be more attentive as you wait for the right moment to do so.
  6. If you feel yourself dozing in class, excuse yourself, go take a quick walk, take a deep breath, and recharge for the rest of the class.

‘Smart’ is Cool in College

smartcollegeThe kid who always walks into class late, the girl who yells obscene things across the hall, the student who talks back to the teacher, the guy who throws desks across the room, the students who park where ever the they want even if it’s in ‘faculty only’ parking, and the girls who wear the least amount of clothes…. yea those kids, they’re the cool kids in high school. They were the ones who got the attention, the ones who were always noticed, and invited to the best parties. They were cool….in high school. Things are a little different in college. Some of the students with the best reputations in college are the students who are the smartest. They are the students who do the most internships, who are always at networking events on campus, who tutor their classmates, who are making money during the semester. The people in college who get the most attention, the ones who get noticed by faculty, and the ones who are successful are the ones who:
1. Speak up in class and ask or say intelligent things
2. Dress appropriately
3. Talk to the professors
4. Give great presentations in class
5. Show up to class prepared
5. Do outstanding academic work and are featured on the school website or in the school newspaper for a major achievement
6. Are NICE…. you’d be surprised at how many people are well known for simply being a really nice person
Being respectful, being a good student, and acting like an adult are what will get you known (for the right reasons) in college. If you are a ‘nerd’ in high school and are thinking about changing your image in college because you want to be a ‘cool’ kid now, don’t do it! Keep being who you are. Today, the people who were considered the ‘smart kids’ in my high school are now some of the most successful people I know, which brings up another reason why you should be nice to everyone in your high school and in college. Those ‘smart kids’ grow up to be really successful and you never know when you might need their help or their expertise or a reference to another very successful person they know. Connections are key!

You Only Give ONE First Impression, Don’t Screw It Up

Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughingIt’s true that most people will judge you within the first second of meeting you and their opinion will most likely never change. You can form a good or bad reputation in the first weekend of college. People will form opinions about you even without meeting you. My first weekend of college I had formed opinions about people just based on observing the way they acted and also based on what other people said about them. It didn’t matter what happened over the next 4 years, because when I saw those people at graduation, I still remembered the first impression I had of them. It’s human nature to form an opinion about someone. Do a little experiment today, make an effort to meet someone new. As you meet them, be conscious of the observations you make about them. Are they speaking clearly, are they fidgeting, are they rambling on, are they making eye contact with you? Then as you leave, think about the opinion you formed of them. Is it a good one? Why? What kinds of things did they do that impressed you? Takes that impressed you and keep them in your back pocket, pull them out when it’s time for you to meet someone new.

Making a good first impression is incredibly important, because you only get one shot at it.  So how do you make sure that people are judging you accurately? Not just new friends but your professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, RA’s, administrators, corporate recruiters who come to campus, upper classman, everyone that you meet will form a first impression about you. Here is my best piece of advice for you to make sure you give the BEST first impression:

Know your purpose and your intention when meeting someone. One of the most important things to do when approaching someone is knowing why you are meeting them. It may sound odd but it will make you come across more confident and keep you in charge of the conversation. Think about it, if you see a professor and just walk up to them thinking, “oh man, here’s a professor, I should meet them so they know me, I hope I don’t screw up, I’m really nervous,” you’re going to go up to them, put out your hand and said, “Hi I’m Gabby” and then they’ll say “Hi I’m professor ‘whoever’ it’s nice to meet you.” Then after a few seconds of awkward silence, you’ll smile and fidget and maybe say something that doesn’t make sense and then walk away having achieved nothing. First impression – fail! So instead what you should do is think about your purpose. Think, “I am going to go up to the professor to introduce myself and let him know that I am excited about the first semester. I am going to keep it quick, I will remember to smile, I am going to speak clearly….now take a deep breath and stand up straight.” As I walk over I know exactly what I am going to do and exactly what I am going to say and I have just taken a deep breath so I am feeling good and I am feeling confident. I walk up to the professor, put out my hand and say “Hi Professor ‘whoever’ my name is Gabby. I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and let you know that I’m really looking forward to this semester [smile].” He may then say something as simple as “great it’s nice to meet you” and then you can say “You too, have a good day, I’ll see you next class.” Bing, Bang, Boom. Great first impression – success! Simply because I had a plan. It was much better than the smile and stare and awkward shuffling of paper as I walk away looking like an idiot. Having a plan or an introduction in mind will help you for every conversation you have and it will, without a doubt, help  you master the first impression.

Gear Up For the First Semester

transitioningThis first month of school is critical for setting up the rest of your semester. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new freshman or a returning upperclassman the transition from home life to school life is up to you. You have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for the rest of the semester, don’t let bad habits take over. Start to take control of your responsibilities – go to the gym, eat healthy snacks, watch those ‘liquid’ calories, stay up to date on classwork, and take a look at these simple 10 to-do’s to help you build a strong foundation. I suggest you take a few minutes to do arts and crafts, write these out on a piece of paper, bring them to school with you and hang them above your desk. I am a true believe in visualization – if something is staring you in the face everyday you will do it, or accomplish it. Add to your list daily!

1. Get to know your roommates – sit with them and really get to know them. These are the people you are going to spend the most amount of time with. You don’t have to be their best friend but you do have to live with them (and they have to live with you).

2. Get Organized! Your professor may have assigned work and projects and told you about them on day 1. Don’t expect them to remind you everyday about it and if you forget to hand it in when it’s due you will not get away with the excuse ‘i didnt know it was due.’ Get a planner and fill in the dates when assignments are due.

3. Go to class – Sleeping in and skipping your morning class may seem tempting, who’s making you go anyway? Get up and go! You are paying to be there, don’t waste your money.

4. Meet with your professors. Take the extra minute to show up before class or stay after class and meet your professor. Ask them a question, or tell them that you are enjoying their class so far. They’re human (everyone likes to be given complements) and they’ll appreciate the positive feedback.

5. Let go of the pressure of having to know exactly what you want to study – You’ve probably met a number of people who say they know exactly what they want to do when they graduate (i’d bet money that majority of those people have no idea what they want to do). College is a time to discover what you want to do. Let those people do what they want to do and be excited that you aren’t locked into one track right now, you are exploring!

6. Stay healthy! Go to the gym, eat your fruit and veggies, listen to music and go for a walk by yourself.

7. Take a deep breath.

8. Don’t cut corner – nobody gets placed on the top of the mountain, they all have to climb it.

9. Seek help when you need it – are you really stressed? Are your eating habits getting out of hand? Are you drinking more than you expected? Dont be afraid to ask for help. Walk to health services (trust me they’ve seen and heard it all) and tell them what is going on. Are you confused on an assignment? E-mail your professor, reach out to a classmate or go to the tutoring center. People want to help you.

1o. Call home to your family – they miss you, they want to hear from you.

 

What is Summer Orientation?

summer_orientationI know – I am sorry! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the blogging world.  I’m back! I recently did a live webinar with CollegeWeekLIVE about summer orientation and I figured now would be a great time to get back to committing myself to the blog world and helping my high school and college followers. So what is summer orientation? It is your opportunity to interact with peers, faculty, and staff, in and outside the classroom. Orientation typically covers both academic and social events. It can be a one day event, a weekend event where you would stay overnight in the dorms or it may be an overnight program mid-week. You will:

  • Get separated into orientation groups. They are groups of freshman who will be led by upperclassman that are called orientation leaders. Your orientation leaders will be like you “camp counselor” throughout orientation and will keep you on schedule, bring you from event to event, and place to place.
  • Learn about campus resources and services that support academic and personal development.
  • Build your semester schedule
  • Take placement exams.
  • Understand how to lead healthy and sustainable lifestyles
  • Icebreakers with your orientation group
  • Attend social events to meet new students
  • Have fun!

THINGS TO DO

—  Be friendly

—  Embrace the awkward

—  Meet as many people as you can

—  Attend all events

—  Introduce yourself to a Professor!!! I am a huge fan of this!

—  Ask questions

—  Save the parties for later

THINGS NOT TO DO

—  Illegal activities

—  Close yourself off from meeting people

—  Be rude

—  Only talk to the same people

—  Text/call/use your phone

—  Let orientation ruin your experience

I hope you have a GREAT experience. However, remember that orientation is just one or two days and it should not reflect the next 4 years of your life. If you have a negative experience do not jump to conclusions. You need to give your college experience a chance.

Pre-Finals Preparation

The semester is almost over which means that your dreaded final’s week will be here before you know it.  Yes, you can enjoy the rest of your semester by pushing everything aside until the week before finals and cramming the night away OR you can start preparing now!  If you start pre-finals preparation now you can do little by little to get organized without the stress and pressure of having to get it all done ASAP.  Here are some tips of how to get organized for pre-finals preparation:

  1. Separate your notes into folders or binders for each of your classes (especially if you’re one of those students who uses the same notebook or binder for all of your classes)
  2. Pick a class each day and create a new word document on your computer – as you flip through your notes start a list on your document with bullet points or if you’re feeling ambitious start a detailed outline of all your notes up to this point (when you go back to it the week before finals you will be REALLY happy to see everything you need to know, even if it’s just bullet points with key words to know)
  3. Figure out which classes you have final papers for and get the criteria now – starting your papers (even just an intro and then notes of what you will talk about) during Thanksgiving break will make it much easier when you come back to campus and work on your paper.  When you sit down to write a paper the hardest part is starting it but if you start it during Thanksgiving you will be ahead of the game right before finals and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.
  4. Get Healthy! Eat right, get exercise, and sleep!  Force yourself to eat some veggies and go take a walk, take a fitness class, or spend some time at the gym – healthy body, healthy mind!

First | Semester | Almost | Over

{gabbriel m simone}

Professor Pet Peeves

Yes, some of your final grades are made up of just the graded material in class but professors are human and some can’t help but to give a little extra push for the all around exceptional students.  Every professor is different and every professor has different things that annoy them so this list does not speak for everyone.  However, I can almost guarantee that there is at least one thing on here that each of your current professors will agree with.  Read carefully, don’t be a pest!

  1. missing class regularly
  2. showing up late to class and making a scene
  3. texting (you’re not good at hiding it, who looks down at their crotch and laughs when they’re “taking notes” in class?)
  4. falling asleep
  5. asking a question that was JUST answered
  6. lame excuses for missing class
  7. talking to your friend sitting next to you
  8. eating a meal in class
  9. studying or doing work for another class
  10. saying that “you didn’t know the assignment was due”
  11. not completing the assigned reading prior to class
  12. complaining about how much work you have to do
  13. during exam review asking if it can be a take home test, group exam, or open book test (no, no and no)
  14. wearing inappropriate clothing to class
  15. submitting horrendous work… this is college, there is an academic expectation, don’t embarrass yourself
  16. not saying a word during a discussion class
  17. showing up to office hours the day before an exam with 1000 questions because you never listened in class