How to Succeed This Fall Semester!

You’ve filled out your application, registered and paid for your classes, and now you are officially a college student!  Congratulations!  But, if this is your first semester in college, you’re probably wondering what to expect next.  I know it took a lot to get here, but now is not the time to sit back and relax.  You’ve got work ahead of you.  Wait…don’t let that scare you!  With some planning and preparation, you’ll be ready to tackle any assignment, test, or essay.  And don’t forget, the library staff will be here to help you along the way!

So what is the college experience all about?  Here are some helpful resources to get you familiar with the college lifestyle:

College unzipped           everything college survival book          Navigating your freshman year

Maybe you’re coming back to college after many years off.  Or, maybe you’re transitioning from a military to a civilian career, and college is the stepping stone in this process. Or possibly you have a learning disability and are uncertain how this will affect your college experience.  Here are some specific resources to meet your needs:

adult students          Finding success as a returning veteran or military student          Survival guide for college students with ADHD or LD

So, now that you’re here, it’s your goal to succeed.  A major key to success is to study, study, study!  Did we forget to mention studying?  Here are some resources that will help you sharpen your study skills:

College rules        everything guide to study skills         Learn how to study and SOAR to success

Here are some helpful DVDs on the topic:

Study Skills For People Who Hate to Study — This video covers organization skills, fighting procrastination, time management, and other topics.

Academic Success: Smart Tips For Serious Students — This is a 6 volume set covering such topics as note-taking, studying, and research skills.

Here are some of our tried and true college survival tips:

  • Let’s see some ID  Be sure to get your student ID.  It’s required to access many of the services offered on campus, including the library. Click here for information on how to get your ID.
  • Ready, set, GoPrint!   Setup your GoPrint (pay for print) account, so you are ready to print out your research papers.  We can help you setup your account in the library or it can be done in the open computer lab.
  • Show up!  — Try to avoid missing class as much as possible.  We know life happens, and your attendance may not be 100%.  Just remember, you’re responsible for any work that you miss, and you don’t want to fall behind.  Also, many classes at NVC have in-class activities and class participation components.
  • Plan, plan, and plan some more — Purchase a planner, and fill it up with all the information you’ll need to successfully navigate each class.  Write down your class names and locations, your schedule, instructor’s names, assignment due dates, and dates of tests and class presentations.  Planning ahead, and having all of this information at your fingertips, will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.  For your convenience, the campus bookstore has planners you can purchase!
  • Find your way  Get yourself a campus map and carry it in your planner!
  • The early bird catches the…parking space — Parking can be frustrating.  So, save yourself a headache, and give yourself plenty of time to get on campus and find a spot.  At least for the first few weeks of the semester, try to be on campus about 30-45 minutes before your class starts.
  • Don’t be shy — Get to know your instructors, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or email them if you need to.  Also, buddy up with someone in your class and get their phone number.  You never know when you’ll need a study partner.
  • Read the syllabus, and then read it again! —  Like your campus map, the syllabus is a map for each class that you take.  Your syllabus will tell you how you are going to be graded, and it will have all the important dates to remember, such as the dates of tests, assignments, and finals.  And remember, always check the dates, times and locations of your finals!
  • Check out the library! — The library is one of the most valuable resources when it comes to academic success.  You can come here to check out books and DVDs at the Circulation Desk, get help with your research from our Reference Librarians, and collaborate with classmates in our group study rooms.  We have 70 computers, available for student use, so you can work on assignments and access our online databases.  If you need assistance with Microsoft Office or your GoPrint account, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance from our knowledgeable Computer Desk staff.

Remember, this is a new experience, and at times you might feel a little
overwhelmed or lost.  Don’t panic, because Northwest Vista has a wealth of resources to help you every step of the way! Check out NVC’s Tutoring Labs and Support Services:

Now get out there, and tackle this Fall Semester head on!  On behalf of the NVC Library, we’d like to wish you an exciting, informative, and productive semester. 

Be sure to come by and see us!

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