Last night was our St. David’s, PA (Phili area) New Student Reception and it was a blast. We had so many great new families, as well as some wonderfully poised upperclassmen and even some current parents too. It was a lovely, convivial gathering, as I knew it would be.
From all the new freshmen I have met this summer, I have to say I am impressed. They are interesting, intelligent (obviously), polite, and charming. I think it is going to be a great class.
Here’s a few of the ‘get off to a good start’ tips that our upperclassmen gave last night:
– During high school, most of your day was planned and filled by school. In college, you are going to have very little daily work, but will have a lot of material to cover in between classes and tests. Don’t let yourself get behind.
– Unlike high school, your professor might not remind you of an upcoming quiz or test. That information is all on the syllabus, and you need to read and follow that syllabus (and not wait for prompts).
– Be sure to visit your professors’ office hours and get to know them personally. Go to class and participate. Those are the building blocks to in-class success – and on the off chance you have an illness or emergency, your professor is more likely to work with you if you have a good track record in class and he/she knows you personally.
– Leave your door open the first couple of weeks in your residence hall – not all the time, not when you are sleeping, just when you are hanging out. Invite your hallmates in or speak to them, and introduce yourself to them if their doors are open. That’s how you build hall friends.
– Living in close quarters means that things like colds and such will run through the dorms. Do a lot of hand washing and hand sanitizer to help keep germs at bay.
– Go to every Orientation activity. You’ll meet tons of people. Also go to the Student Involvement Fair (which takes place this year on 9/3 from 3:30-6 pm on the Manchester aka Mag Quad) and sign up for some clubs and activities – but not too many. You can put your name on email distro lists for groups you are interested in, but can opt out later if that group is not for you.
I also had a fantastic suggestion from an upperclassman parent of something that ought to be added to the “What to Bring to School” list: a ziploc bag of rice.
A ziploc bag of rice? whatever for? you might ask yourself. I know I was puzzled for a sec.
At some point, most of our students will have a cell phone-water mishap. Could be getting stuck out in the rain, or spilling a drink on it, whatever. Point is, in the moment your phone is wet and not functional, the cure for a wet phone is immersing it in a bag of uncooked rice. And that is probably not a staple in most college kids’ rooms.
So the word to the wise is – send them to college with an emergency phone-drying-out ziploc of rice. That way if they need it, they have it and can start the phone cure ASAP.