Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Getting College Freshmen Off to a Good Start

Here is the list of ideas I give my college freshmen orientation class to help them get off to a good start. Some of them are my own little pet peeves, but others are serious. Am I missing anything important?

1. Academically
- read and understand the complete syllabus of each class
- write due dates in your calendar
- keep up with assignments
- go to every class (Tuition is $8120 a semester, if you take 15 hours that means a 3 hours class costs you $1624. The class meets 42 times a semester, so each class you missed is $40 you’ve wasted. You wouldn’t pay $40 to go to Six Flags or a baseball game and then decide to sleep in that day, so you shouldn’t do that with class either – go and get your money’s worth of an education.)
- do the readings
- act interested
- for many assignments the library can be more useful than the internet

2. With Your Professors
- call them doctor or professor, not Mr., Mrs., or Miss
- don’t call them by their first name, unless invited
- go talk to them in their office hours
- don’t call them at home
- don’t come into class late
- turn your cell phones off before you enter class
- don’t make up excuses for not completing an assignment
- don’t ever start a conversation with ‘My tuition pays your salary.’

3. Socially/Personally
- join clubs/ get a campus job
- get involved
- don’t hang out with only your roommate
- be open to having a variety of friends, people of different races, or nationalities


S.J. Redman said...

Advice for new history graduate students would also be appreciated Dr. History. :-)

Anonymous said...

You got it. Give me a day to make up a list.

S.J. Redman said...

Thank you!

Larry said...

A few suggestions for the grad list:
1. Learn to "read" a book in an hour.
2. Never admit to having read a book in a hour.
3. Read all of the book reviews and essays that your professors have written.
4. Have a good filing system for your notes, photocopies, etc.
5. The other grad students are not your competitors, they are your future professional network.
6. Your research papers should be at least the seeds of a conference presentation and a scholarly article.
7. Present and publish, start getting lines on your vita.
8. Don't date fellow grad students. Date business majors.
9. Beer in quarts is a good value.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I am very much in favor of #8. Dating a fellow history graduate student can easily lead to a long-distance marriage.

Larry I think I went to grad school with one of your department members!