Classes started yesterday, and students got their first taste of their Tuesday-Thursday schedules. Today is the first day of Monday-Weds-Fri classes. I hit the ZSR Starbucks just before 8 am expecting to see at least a little bit of a logjam with students caffeinating up before class, but the place was empty save for one young man sporting a bit of stubble and a very large textbook.
Especially for first-year students, the start of classes can be stressful. They are dealing with the newness of roommates, independent living, and now classes in unfamiliar turf with new expectations. Always during the first week, I try to check in with my own advisees to see how things are going and to give a bit of a pep talk. Here’s the advice I gave them.
Now that classes have started, I wanted to check in with you and send my best wishes that they will all go smoothly. The first couple of days can be a bit unnerving as you get used to college classes but don’t worry – you’ll all find your way in no time at all.
Couple of important reminders:
1) any time you think you are struggling in a class, the first step is to go to your faculty member and talk about it/seek ideas for additional help
2) there is a math center, chem clinic, writing center, and learning assistance center (LAC does individual and group tutoring). Go early if you think you need extra support. Don’t wait. You can find a lot of them here: http://parents.wfu.edu/wfu-links/ but you can also search on the main web site for their pages
3) Office of Academic Advising is there as a resource too. Every M W F they post a list of classes with open spots if you are looking to switch: http://advising.wfu.edu/. Pay attention also to the Dean Buchanan’s Top 10 Things
4) The last date to add a class is Sept 10th. IMPORTANT: the last day to drop is WAY later – Oct 1st. You must be sure to have at least 12 credit hours in order to remain a full-time student. Some students might need to add a new class first before dropping one, lest you dip below the 12 credit hour limit. So if you think you might ultimately drop one of your current classes, pay attention to how many credits you’d have after that drop so you’d still have time to add a class if you need one.
5) Make sure to make your plan for homework and study time. Procrastination will be a really hard thing to do here.
6) There are a lot of life adjustments happening right now. Pay attention to your heart and spirit as well as your head. The University Counseling center is a great resource if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. It is free and confidential. I highly recommend it. http://counselingcenter.wfu.edu/
7) MODERATION in all things. Don’t go crazy : )
Remember, you all earned your place here. The work will be harder, and you are among very bright people – but don’t let that make you feel daunted. Do the very best work you can, and let the chips fall where they may. All you can do is your best, then let it rest.