The following tips for successful college adjustment were suggested by SJU student leaders. Please feel free to comment or make suggestions of your own.
To manage your time and workload
- Set aside a certain amount of time each week just for studying and stick to it.
- Plan in advance for what will be due during the semester.
- Follow the syllabus carefully; have each assignment done before the class it’s due.
- Be aware of your own schedule; don’t be overly influenced by others.
- Stay busy…the busier you are, the more you get done.
- Learn when to say no.
- Stay on top of things; don’t let work pile up on you.
To get the most out of your classes
- Don’t skip classes
- Get to your classes on time, every time
- Take good notes
- Pay attention during academic orientation
- Plan ample time for studying
- Get to know others in your class; study together; borrow notes.
- Establish relationships with your professors; e-mail teachers; ask them for help.
To make the most of your studying
- Set aside time just for studying, but give yourself time to relax when you’re stressed out.
- Take advantage of study skills workshops.
- Remember that you’re paying for school…don’t waste it.
- Don’t give up if you start on the wrong foot.
- Get advice from upperclassmen.
- Form study groups with your classmates.
- Take advantage of free peer tutoring.
To make wise academic decisions
- Don’t choose a major based on what you think you “should” do.
- Don’t choose your major to get a certain professor or class.
- Choose a major based on what you’d love to do.
- Take a career interest test at Career Services.
- Find an advisor who knows your area of study.
- If you’re unhappy with your advisor, find out about switching.
- Talk to upperclassmen about their academic experiences.
To enjoy your social life
- Use caution in dating; remember your reputation is on the line
- If you go to a party with someone, stay with that person…know who your friends are leaving with.
- Use the buddy system at parties; protect one another
- Make sure you know and trust a person before you’re alone with him or her.
- Use alcohol responsibly… if you drink, be aware of yourself and others.
- Don’t get involved in a serious relationship too quickly; take your time to meet people.
- Consider your roommates before bringing your date up to your room.
To make friends at college…
- Be courageous; introduce yourself to new people.
- Get involved in student organizations and activities.
- Go to hall mixers.
- Be open to new things.
- Be discreet in what you share about yourself at first and don’t gossip about others.
- Don’t limit yourself to friendships with suitemates; get friends outside of your small circle.
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
To get along with your roommates
- Set guidelines for living together — split up chores and responsibilities evenly.
- Have rules for how to take messages, share food, borrow clothes, etc.
- See your relationship as a business partnership, not necessarily a friendship.
- Respect one another’s property; be considerate.
- Be willing to compromise.
- Don’t allow your roommates to take advantage of you.
- Try to deal with problems and misunderstandings right away.
To Maintain Healthy Eating Habits and physical conditioning
- Stock up on healthy foods in your dorm or apt.
- In the cafeteria, ask the workers to check in the back if you do not see what you want.
- Get a group of friends together to make suggestions to the Food Service.
- Avoid late night eating and too much beer drinking.
- Get involved in intramurals or sports.
- Ask the trainers in the Fieldhouse to develop an exercise program for you.
To avoid disordered eating:
- Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.
- Get support and/or professional help if you think you may have an eating disorder.
- Learn what support services are available, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Keep in mind that food does not solve emotional problems.
- Model healthy attitudes.
- Learn to be yourself and feel comfortable in your body.
- Don’t compare yourself to others or get obsessed with diet and exercise.
To drink responsibly:
- Don’t be pressured to drink more than you can handle.
- Learn how alcohol affects you and your body; know your limits.
- Remember that non-drinkers can be positive role models.
- Don’t drink to relieve stress or deal with problems.
- Don’t use alcohol as a way to make friends.
- Keep in mind that some people will take advantage of a drunk person; remember you can’t trust everybody.
- Know where to go if you have a problem with alcohol; CAPS or WADE staff can help.