UCA helping students get ready for new year

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- For those who had the past three months off for summer vacation it might be hard to get back in the swings of things.

Christina Madsen from the University of Central Arkansas joined THV's Alyse Eady with some advice for college students to get back on track for the school year.

  • Eat Breakfast!
  • Keep you room neat. It will help you keep your life organized. You will be more successful in school.
  • Go to class, even if it's not required
  • Don't apply for all of the credit card offers just because you can. Credit card debt is bad
  • If you have a credit card, don't overspend on it
  • Get to know your professors.
  • Make friends
  • Go to things sponsored by the Student Activity Board
  • Don't go home every weekend; get connected!
  • Did I say, "Go to class!"? Yeah, this is pretty important.
  • Join a registered student organization or two; get connected.
  • In class, sit in a seat within the "Learning Triangle", from the two front corners, make a triangle to the middle of class at a 45 degree angle. These students perform better in class.
  • Form study groups early
  • Learn what resources are offered at your institution and use them. These include tutoring centers, academic skills workshops, health centers, counseling, and academic advising. These services are included in your tuition and fees. They are for ALL students (not just those that are struggling).
  • Eat well; but don't overeat.
  • Get enough sleep, but don't sleep too much.
  • Follow the instructions given by your professor
  • Learn to use the library
  • Develop an appreciation for coffee.
  • Meet with your academic advisor.
  • Read the news.
  • Go to Office Hours - This is time that faculty has (to) set aside to meet one-on-one with students, and you should take advantage of it. Go early and go often: Form relationships with your teacher, ask questions about difficult material, prime them for that moment when you'll ask for a letter of recommendation, and show them that you care -- not just about your grade, but about your education.
  • Being a full-time student is a full-time job ... at least 45 hours per week. Manage your time and other commitments accordingly. We know from research that most high school seniors spend less than 5 hours a week doing homework. This is understandable because high school students are in class roughly 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. When you add 5 hours of homework, high school students are already putting in approx. 35 hours a week into schoolwork. The problem is high school students bring these same study habits to college because it was successful for them in high school. In college time is totally different. Students may be enrolled in only 15 hours a week (versus 30), so faculty have higher expectations about their study time outside of class. Experts say the general rule of thumb is for every one hour in class, students need to spend 2 hours outside of class doing homework, reading material, and doing research in the library. So if you are taking 15 hours, that means 30 hours outside of class doing prep time. We find, however, that most college freshmen spend less than 10 hours a week outside of class in prep time. This is why many students do not do well academically and lose academic scholarships. I normally tell students to build in at least 20-25 hours a week for studying to create a 40 hour "academic work week."
  • Know your course syllabus for every course; study ahead of exams
  • Think about why you're attending college (to become better educated? to pursue a specific career path? to explore fields of study that are new to you?). Students who "just attend because they think it's expected," aren't as successful as those who think it through.
  • Always make academics your first priority. If not, you won't be around to enjoy the rest of the collegiate experience.
  • Go to class. Go to class. Go to class. Study after study shows that students who attend (and participate) outperform those who don't.


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