OK, the new semester starts tomorrow and you are either anxious or excited about it. Either way, I’m compiling these 10 successful back-to-school tips for you, so that you are prepared for what’s coming and you can be sure to gain success by the end of the semester.
Buy the course pack for the courses that you plan to take a week before the semester starts.
Taking new courses can be terrifying. You don’t know what to expect, you may not have the teacher in the past (and the rumor says that s/he is a tough teacher!), and you heard that the assignments are killer! By buying the course pack before the semester begins, you can study the materials or at least browse the chapters and you can measure yourself whether it will be a challenging or an easy breezy course.
Come to the first meeting of any courses you plan to take, even if you haven’t gotten a seat in certain courses.
OK, OK, you got a seat in that class. Still, you have to come to the first meeting. FBS is notoriously well-known for having the first meeting of the first week full with information and materials already. Other faculties usually fill their first meeting with syllabus discussion. Not in our faculty! You may miss some important information and the teacher’s explanation on the first topic of the course.
If you haven’t got the seat, coming to the first meeting will give a positive impression to the teacher. It shows that you really, really want to be in his/her course. S/he may even add you to the class register and help you register to the course. After all, teachers are human being. We love having enthusiastic students who LOVE taking our courses.
Make sure you know where the classrooms are located and come at least 10 minutes before the class starts.
This tip especially applies to junior students. Although you may be familiar with the campus, sometimes you get classrooms that you have never been there before. Familiarizing yourself with the location will help you to get to the classes on time. Coming 10 minutes before the class helps you relaxed and gives you the chance to acquaintance with your fellow classmates.
Dress to kill, sit at the front row, and project your aura of enthusiasm.
Teachers are human beings. I think I’ve mentioned that in # 2. We have literally hundreds of students every semester and it’s hard for us to remember each and every student, particularly new ones. Therefore you need to leave a positive impression on us. You can dress to kill. Impress us with your choice of couture (but of course not the sexy, raunchy, punk or any weirdo style!). You can sit at the front row. Make sure you make us look into your face. And always project an aura of enthusiasm to us. Smile and look interested to whatever we tell you.
Read carefully the syllabus and plan your semester.
Once the teacher distributes the syllabus read it thoroughly and carefully. If there is one thing that teacher hates, it is students who ask about things that are already written in the syllabus. If you do have questions that have not been addressed in the syllabus, do ask. It may save you in the future.
You can also plan your semester by looking at the assignments and deadlines in the syllabus. If you see that you will have lots of assignments and deadlines, you may want to skip some of your future leisure activities. Or, if you see that most of the deadlines are at the beginning of the week, you may want to re-schedule your karaoke time in the middle of the week, for instance.
Write down the teacher’s contacts and his/her office hour.
This is for emergency. Once and awhile, you will stumble on confusion in doing your assignments or you may have questions to the teacher. By having this important information, you can raise your questions in the most appropriate time in the most appropriate channel. Some teachers don’t mind receiving phone calls or text messages or meet students outside their office hours, some do.
Look for potential group mates in the classes that you take.
Some courses will require you to work in groups. Nothing is more irritating than having group mates who are lazy or not motivated or do not share the similar interests with you. Make sure you identify potential group mates who will stay with you through thick and thin and are committed to finish the assignment with you.
Talk to friends who have taken the classes in previous semesters.
It is always useful to talk to those who have taken the classes in previous semesters because they can give you some tips, materials, extra reading, etc. that can help you to get good grades.
Check out any ‘interesting’ classmates for inspiration and spirit.
OK, admit it, some classes can be very boring. Boredom may lead you to failure to get good grades. After all, there is a higher chance for you to be successful if you’re excited about the class. My tip to avoid boredom in certain classes is to find somebody that makes you excited to come to class. This can be a very handsome guy (in girls’ case) or beautiful girl, a very smart and enthusiastic classmate (if you’re into geeky type).
Be positive! It’s a new semester full of opportunities!
Although a course is notoriously known as a challenging class, don’t give up yet! You haven’t done any assignments. You haven’t taken any tests. Your grade book is still empty. You have the whole semester to fight for good grades.
Last but not the least, enjoy the first day. With the new students coming, you will have so much fun seeing them being awkward and so high-schooly, that you can feel more superior being the seniors. Just kidding, Guys!
See you all in my classes!
Your affectionate teacher,