New Student Survival Guide

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Advice Column

Jaydon Smith, pictured above, is a freshman Communication and Media Studies major at Reinhardt University. Like many other new students, Smith has questions about succeeding in his new environment.

Let’s face it, being in a new environment can be a little scary. 

As a freshman or transfer student, you might feel like you need to navigate your new environment alone, but the reality is, you don’t.

We solicited advice from two seniors, Jacob Howard and Mckenna Haag, and then created a list of survival tips to help new students ease their transition into life at RU. Here’s the advice they offered:

1) Keep a notebook/planner.

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The use of a notebook or planner will help you stay organized and make sure you don’t miss any important due dates.

“You’re not going to be able to remember everything yourself. Trust me” – Jacob Howard

2) Use the syllabus.

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Syllabi are the best scheduling and organizational tools. Most professors include everything you need in them!

“With the exception of a few classes, it’s more than just a waste of paper. Usually, everything you need is right there.” – Jacob Howard 

3) Schedule time to study.

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Prioritize your schoolwork. The more you study, the more prepared you are for class, quizzes, and tests.

“Make time for homework and studying. College is a lot different than high school. Your class schedule might be all over the place. You’ll have breaks in between classes. Take that time to do the homework you won’t want to do later. Make study groups with people in your classes. It really does help.” – McKenna Haag 

4) Ask for help when you need it.

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Professors and staff members at Reinhardt are very accessible and always willing to help. Use that to your advantage.

“Don’t be afraid to email a professor for help if needed.” – Jacob Howard

5) Consider living on campus.

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Living on campus gives you experiences that commuting can’t.

“I’m a commuter student and I think I missed out on some aspects of campus life that those who live on campus experience. If I could do it all over again, I would live on campus. I think it’s a good idea to get away from your parents even for a few months.” – McKenna Haag

6) Vent, Relax, Repeat.

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The workload, the exams, the stress — It can all be overwhelming at times. But if you’re able to set aside time to recuperate, it’ll boost your overall mood tremendously.

“Just know you will not like every class or professor, and just be sure to set aside time for relaxation.”Jacob Howard 

7) Get Involved.

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This is a great way to meet new people and to feel connected to the school.

“Don’t be a couch potato who stays in the dorm and watches Netflix all the time. (Although, some nights need to be chill nights with Netflix.) Get out and get involved in clubs and activities. You’ll make some of your best friends in these clubs. College has a little bit of everything. I can assure you there is a club or activity that you’ll be interested in.”McKenna Haag 

8) Beware of  the “Freshman 15”

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School is a priority, but so is your body. Make sure you take care of yourself and maintain your health.

“The ‘Freshmen 15’ is a myth for some. I didn’t gain any weight my freshmen year, but I’ve seen it happen. Eat what you want, but eat in moderation. Work out only when you want to. There are group exercise classes that are really fun. Try at least one. Just enjoy whatever you do.” – McKenna Haag  

 

Written By: Matthew Gordon

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