Tips for Acing Freshman Year

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Tips for Acing Freshman YearTips for Acing Freshman Year

Tips for Acing Freshman Year

It’s good to have goals. Here’s yours: Ace freshmen year.

Everyone wants to know how to be successful in college, and Cal U has an entire staff located in Noss Hall that can provide tips for college students and other academic support services.

The Office of Academic Success includes a tutoring center, math lab, reading clinic and writing center. It also offers other student success programs: assistance with note-taking, goal-setting, time management and more.

Dr. Dan Engstrom is associate provost and associate vice president of student retention. “If you ask, we can help,” he says of his office. “But unlike high school, you have to take the initiative.” Just walk in.

Here are his top 5 things to know for an awesome start to your college experience:

  1. Go to class: The best predictor of college success is whether or not a student goes to class. Every class. Furthermore, sit in the front third of the class – less zoning out, no smartphone distractions, better engagement with the professor.
  2. Don’t blow off First-Year Seminar: You have a lot to learn, and not just about your major. Topics include career planning, health and wellness, financial aid and more. It is far from a waste of time. Engstrom has data to prove that students who attend this one-credit course do way better in college than those who don’t.
  3. Spend down time in a study area: “There’s this place we have on campus called the library,” Engstrom says with a smile. Instead of heading home or to your room to relax or play Xbox, use your out-of-class time to get ahead of the material that will be required of you. Treat college like a job; your main focus is to do well.
  4. Know the syllabus: This is the blueprint for each course. Know what’s due when. Put those dates into a calendar and set reminders. Good time-management skills are essential for success
  5. Make good friends: They will understand that academics come first. They understand how to have fun within smart, safe boundaries. Joining a club with a specific focus, preferably related to your major, can help with this.

More information

Office of Academic Success
Noss Hall, Room 103