Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of Classes at WVU

Today is the first day of classes for yet another set of future alumni at West Virginia University, this class however features my Niece Brittany as one of those very nervous freshmen today that will be attending their first day of college.

Yesterday Kim, Michelle and I walked Brittany around campus, I showed her where all of her classes are and how to commute to them. We were able to walk around campus which allowed me to bestow some of my wisdom on how to succeed as a college student to Brittany.

I gave her my three pieces of advice that will help her accomplish her goals.

  1. Go to class. Not just a class, go to every class that the class offers. Too many times students will show up on the first day of classes to get their syllabus and you only see them a few more times during the year and those will be examination days. Some can do this and do it well, they are usually upper level classmates taking a lower level class to meet a core curriculum. The ones who do it successfully are either seasoned students or ones just barely getting by.
  2. Sit up front. In large classes it is easy to get around people who really don't care about being there, they are there more to socialize than anything else. remember these faces, they will not be around in four years for commencement. Sitting up front allows your professor to see you, allows you to hear them and clearly be able to hear them without the distraction of what bar specials are going on tonight from people who won't be there next year.
  3. When you have time in between classes, find out your professors office hours and stop by occasionally and visit them. If they know your face and you show them an effort, when grades are released this may work to your advantage. On top of that, I made friends with quite a few of my professors, remember that many of them are graduate students teaching intro classes trying to earn a post graduate degree.

That's it, you can do that as well as learn to manage your free time (studying in between classes or dead periods) and learning how to study for exams (multiple times worked best for me) rather than reviewing your notes for the first time as your getting ready to take the exam are they keys to success that worked for me.

I've passed my wisdom on to Brittany, told her what to stop by and see and interesting places to go like the West Virginia Collection at Wise Library. I also informed her that her Great Grandfather's music is housed in this library. Maybe someday she'll decide to go and find out just how talented of a fiddle player Ellis Hall was (pssst, collection 541).

Enjoy your next few years, they will be memories of a lifetime if you do it right.

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