have probably heard it all: Study smart! Get involved! Ask for help
when you need it! Hit the ground running! But what does it all mean,
and how do you do it? From managing time and money to knowing what is
expected of you, here is a guide to many of the questions and challenges
you may have as a student. Remember: If you’re not getting help
at Dakota Wesleyan, you’re not asking for it.
Everyone is telling you to ‘get involved,’ but you’re
not exactly sure what that means. This is a phrase that mystifies many
college students, most of whom are probably already ‘involved’
and just don’t know it. So what does it mean? Getting involved
on campus means that you’re participating in events and activities
outside of your classes and, possibly, your sport. For many students,
getting involved is as easy as showing up – to chapel, to Student
Activities Board entertainers, to study groups, to sporting events,
to dorm programs, to club meetings. Think about it: If you go to just
one event per week, you have gone to more than 30 different experiences
throughout the school year!
Beyond just showing up, getting involved also means taking
on leadership roles. For some students, this means running for a position
in Student Senate; for others,
it might mean organizing a study
group for their philosophy class. Yet other students may look for
an undergraduate research opportunity or volunteer for a service project
in the community. Whatever you choose to do, ‘getting involved’
means finding out what you like and how to make the most of it, so that
your college experience is as full and fulfilling as you like.
|Attend an event...
Not sure where to start? The Community
Plunge at the beginning of the school year is a great place to
begin. For underclassmen and new students, the Leadership
is a group whose sole purpose is helping
students get involved. Additionally, you can always check the
for the latest on what’s happening and what’s coming
up on campus – grab a friend and go
Item: Pick an event – any event – and go to
the latest Tiger Trib.
College is a time of unprecedented independence, and for some students,
the expectations aren’t entirely clear. There are a few responsibilities
that every student has; here is a short list.
|Check your DWU email...
First, check your DWU e-mail at least once a day. For many
instructors, this is their only way of contacting you. If a
class is cancelled, the notification will be e-mailed to you;
if a due date is changed, it will be e-mailed to you; if the
instructor wants to clarify something from class, it will be
e-mailed to you. Dakota Wesleyan provides you an e-mail address
for a reason, and that reason is that it is the best –
and sometimes only – way for the university to contact
you. Do yourself a favor – check it.
Item: Check your school e-mail every day.
|Read the Tiger Trib...
||Second, while you’re checking your e-mail,
make sure you read the Tiger
Trib. The Trib is a newsletter that goes out to all of campus
to keep everyone updated on important dates, unique opportunities
and fun events. Often, your instructors will offer extra credit
for participating in some of these events – so you’ll
want to be sure you know what’s going on!
Item: Read, or skim, the Tiger Trib on Mondays and Thursdays
the latest Tiger Trib.
|Be responsible for your education...
||Finally, be responsible for your own education. Your
adviser is there to help you select your courses, but you need to
take the initiative to meet with him or her. Your instructor is
there to help you understand the course material, but you need to
put time and energy into trying to learn it. As adult as you may
feel, blowing off assignments and skipping class are the hallmarks
of immaturity; don’t damage your education and reputation
as a student by succumbing to inappropriate academic behavior.
Item: Act like an adult: put effort into
Syllabi and Office Hours
Believe it or not, most of your professors really look forward to getting
to know you – so let them! They will certainly become valuable resources
for your education, will likely be references for you in the future and
may even someday become friends. It is in your best interest, then, to
get along with them; here’s how.
|Read the syllabi...
Every course you take will provide
you with a syllabus. A syllabus is an outline of the course topics,
deadlines and expectations of the instructor. Read it. Highlight
every due date, be sure to check the attendance policy, and skim
through the assignments so you know what you’re up against
all semester. Some instructors have more detailed syllabi than others,
but be sure to read every one anyway. The horror story that parents
love to tell sometimes really is true: an instructor may never remind
you in class that you have an assignment or presentation due, and
you’ll find out when you walk into class that day unprepared.
How to avoid this? Read the syllabus. You are responsible for knowing
and understanding everything it includes – so if you miss
a part, it’s not the instructor’s fault.
Item: Read the syllabus for every class.
|Get to know Your professors...
||In addition to due dates, your syllabi will also include
the time and location of your instructor’s office hours. At
least once per semester, be sure to visit each professor during this
time. If you are struggling with something in class, stopping in during
office hours is the perfect way to get the help you need. Even if
you don’t have a specific question about class, it will be a
good opportunity to get to know them – and for them to get to
know you. Instructors notice and remember students who have made the
effort to visit them during office hours – and when your grade
is tottering between a B and an A, you’ll be glad you did.
Item: Visit your professors during office hours.
Class. Practice. Homework. Lunch. Sleep. Friends. Where does all the time
go? You may have heard that you have three options in college: Sleep,
study and socialize, but you can only pick two. If that doesn’t
sound very appealing to you, then you need to learn the art of time management.
|Log your time...
For some students, scheduling their
time comes naturally. Most students, however, struggle with sticking
to their plan. The trick to maintaining a workable schedule is to
be flexible and plan in ‘empty time.’ To do that, you
will need to view your week as a whole; this time
can help. Fill in your non-negotiable commitments, like
class, practice and group meetings. Then, figure out how much time
you need for other things: studying, sleeping, eating, working,
etc. Remember that you should spend two hours outside of class for
every one hour you spend in it; some classes may require more or
less, so plan accordingly.
a printable time log.
Item: Complete a time log and see where
your time is going.
|Evaluate your goals...
||“Okay,” you might say, “I know how
much time I should be spending on things, but it never happens that
way – something always comes up and I procrastinate!”
You are not alone; time management is a struggle on every college
campus. Unfortunately, the solution is not very appealing. Managing
your time means prioritizing your responsibilities and commitments,
and time spent on favorite activities may need reigning in. The first
step is to think about your goals for college; write them at the top
of a page. Then, list every item deserving of your attention: class,
your family, your sport, work, formal activities (clubs, theatre,
etc.), informal activities (Call of Duty, Facebook, etc.), and anything
else you wish to include. Which of these best serve your goals for
college? How much time do you devote to them currently, and how much
adjusting will it take to achieve the goals you set? Are you willing
to make the sacrifices necessary?
Item: Determine your goals for college.
Item: Prioritize your activities based on their support for
|Seek assistance with time management...
||Often, this can be a rude awakening, and realigning
your time management may seem like a huge undertaking; it does not
have to be. Small changes can reap big results, you just have to be
willing to make them. If you would like help on managing your time
throughout the week, set up an appointment with Malik Stewart and take the first step to getting your schedule under
Item: Schedule an appointment with Malik Stewart to review
There’s no denying it: college is expensive. Even if you aren’t
making regular tuition payments, small expenses add up quickly. Laundry,
eating off campus, birthday presents, decorations for your dorm, snack
food, new boots for the snow – these are things that are difficult
to budget for. How do you avoid going broke, then?
Whether your family will be providing regular cash, you have savings
from the summer or you plan on working part time, you need to figure out
what your income is and how much money you have to spend each semester.
Then, track your expenses for a week or two; where does it all go? Make
sure, by checking your bank statement or your receipts, that you are spending
your money in ways that will help you achieve your goals for college.
If you want help figuring out an appropriate budget or finding a job to
help supplement your income, stop by the Center for Talent Development
to discuss your options.
If you have a question or a problem and you don’t know exactly where
to go, here is your cheat-sheet guide to getting the help you need to
succeed as a student. This list of resources is not exhaustive, but will
hopefully point you in the right direction.
Your adviser will be one of the best resources you’ll have
while at college. He or she will help you select your major and
minor, explore career options, and guide you in the right direction
when you encounter obstacles during your college career. Get to
know your adviser, and never ignore a letter or e-mail from them!
If you are unsure who your adviser is, you may inquire at the registrar’s
office or look on your class schedule.
The campus counselor is an invaluable resource for all students, regardless
of your personal situation. Whether you are dealing with family issues,
test anxiety, general academic stress or are just having a rough day,
every student should get to know the counselor. While you may feel
there is a stigma attached to speaking to a professional, there is
no shame in seeking a confidential ear when you need it!
Your throat is scratchy, your head is pounding, and you have class
in 20 minutes. What to do? Go to the nurse (right after you e-mail
your professor). Toughing it out on your own will likely look to your
instructors as though you’re faking sick; when you are under
the weather, though, the campus nurse can contact your instructors
informing them that you really are ill. Nearly all services are free,
so stay on the safe side – when in doubt, check it out.
Not only can you not connect to the Internet, but the printer is jammed,
too. Rather than just sitting around hoping it will fix itself, contact
Don’t be shy; there are no stupid questions when it comes to
taking care of technology, and it’s better for them to hear
five times about an issue than never.
If you live on campus, you will have a resident assistant and a resident
director. These folks are here to make your life safer and easier,
so if you have any problems at all – from a roommate conflict
to a difficult class – ask them for help. They are specifically
trained to point you in the right direction and help you find what