July 15, 2016

How To Manage Missed Classes

First of all, you want to avoid missing classes in college. You’re paying for these classes, so you want to make sure you go to every class, however they are also content heavy so you can easily get behind. While you want to avoid missing classes in college, there are going to be times that you have no other choice either because you’re ill or have personal matters to attend to. So how do you manage a missed class?

First of all, if you know you are going to be missing class on a certain date, let the professor know in advance. And not just the day before you’re going to be missing. Let them know as soon as you know and if it’s weeks in the future, give them a reminder a few days before. You may need to make arrangements to take a quiz in advance or turn in homework that may be due. Most importantly, you want to find out what you are going to be missing and find out what homework would be assigned. This information may also be in your class syllabus, but you want to double check with your professor in case there is going to be more or less assigned. 

If it is an unexpected absence that you didn’t plan such as you are so sick you can’t get out of bed, you obviously can’t let your professor know in advance. Just because you didn’t plan on it, that doesn’t mean that you completely ignore the fact that you missed class or had homework assigned. You need to be as proactive as you would be with advance notice of a missed class. As soon as you’re well and able, contact your professor to find out what was missed and what you should be doing. You’ll want to start on this right away – don’t procrastinate. As you missed a class, you’re going to have a heavier work load and the only way to beat that increased work load is to start on it as soon as possible.

Whether you had a planned or unexpected absence, you’ll want to collect notes from a reliable friend in your class so you are fully up to date. The key with both situations is to be proactive and communicate with your professor. If you’re going to be out multiple days, let them know. They’re going to be more willing to work with you if you are in communication with them and if you’re proactive.

July 8, 2016

Large College Vs. Small College

At first you may think the only things different with college are living in Residence Halls and living away from home, but there’s so much different that you don’t realize and it can be quite overwhelming at first. Sure, there’s differences in your classes, but something that you may not even think about is the size of your college and it’s a consideration you need to think about at the beginning of your college search. Do you want to go to a smaller college with a couple thousand students, or are you okay with a large campus and a lot more students?

To start with, the choice you make shouldn’t be based on what anyone around you says. Your mom or best friend can’t tell you if a large university is right for you or if you should stick with a small private college. There are benefits and drawbacks of each and you need to fully look into your college choices to evaluate which is best for you.

To start with, finances are a consideration. That small college may seem better, but are you paying a lot more in order to go to that college? The large university may have quite a price cut. A $20,000 (more or less) price cut per year. Determine what you can and are willing to pay. That tuition may not seem like anything right now, but if you take out loans, you have to pay them back after college and it can be quite stressful. It may seem weird to think 4 or more years ahead, but this is the time to do it.

The courses and majors are going to differ slightly, but so are the other offerings. This is when you want to look into sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities. You want a well-rounded education and at this point in your evaluations, you’ll want to make a checklist. What do each of the campuses offer that you are interested in? Yes, even the physical campus environment can count. You may want areas that you can sit in and study or hang out with friends whereas one college doesn’t offer much other than buildings. Once you make your checklist, determine between the lists what you absolutely can’t be without. In the end, the choice should be yours. You’re the one going to college, and you need to be happy with your decisions, not transferring over to the other college partway through your college years.

July 1, 2016

College Essays

Homework in college isn’t at all like it was in High School. There isn’t going to be a lot of fill in the blank or multiple choice type questions. Instead, you’re going to be writing essays. A lot of essays. And not just for English. Obviously, you don’t have to be an English Major to write an essay, but you can’t use the “I’m not an English Major” excuse to not write well-written essays. No matter your major, you need to put time and thought into crafting your essay and you can’t just sit down and simply write. You really, actually need to plan.

First of all, you need to read the essay directions. This may seem like common sense, but you really need to read them. Take the time to thoroughly read, take notes if you need to, write out the different parts of your topic you need to cover, highlight, do whatever you need to in order to fully understand. And if you have questions, ask your professor immediately. They understand there will be questions when they first hand out the assignment. They won’t be so understanding if those questions come a week before the essay is due when you’ve had the assignment for weeks prior.

Once you fully understand your assignment, you need to plan it out. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time creating an in depth outline unless you’re creating a hefty essay that is along the lines of 20 pages, but you do need something. You can’t just sit down and write what comes into your head. You’ll end up wasting time, becoming stressed, and then giving up and procrastinating until the last minute. Don’t do that. That is not a thing you should do. There are many stages to your essay and they can’t all be accomplished two days before the due date. Plan the sections of your essay and what you plan to talk about in each one. What really helps here too is if you write the title of the source you plan on using in that section.

Once you’re ready to sit down and actually write your essay, you need to devote large chunks of time to it. It isn’t like reading one of your textbooks where you can set aside 20 minutes here and there. You need an hour or more at a time and it needs to be uninterrupted. This isn’t a time to watch one of your favorite TV Shows while you work. You need full concentration and you need to go where you can get that, whether it’s the library or your dorm room.

Once your essay is written, you need to proofread and edit until it’s perfect. Don’t rely on spell check for your grammatical mistakes and misspellings. You need to re-read your essay a few times to make sure it’s perfect. As weird as it sounds and as awkward as you feel, you even want to read it aloud. Hearing your sentences aloud will allow you to catch run-ons and other things that don’t quite sound right.