by Pradeep Attaluri
Don’t be shy! College can be a huge change from high school and that can put a lot of stress on you. The best remedy for stress is good friendships that you know will be there for you in tough times. That’s why it’s so important to go out of your comfort zone and make friends early on in school. Go join extra curriculars, talk to your neighbors, talk to your classmates. These will be lifelong friends who you will laugh with forever!
Don’t procrastinate! Life is so much easier if you have a checklist for all of your classes everyday - and crossing them off on a daily basis is so helpful. You won’t ever have to deal with the stress of the test the night before!
About the Alumni
Earlier this week I pulled up interview photos of freshmen who had just taken their last final of the year. Looking at the faces of their younger selves reminded them of how much they had changed. Working in and studying Student Affairs, you learn about Arthur Chickering's Seven Vectors that theorize the "tasks" that students must go through while developing their identity. While I know that the students were taken aback by seeing their younger faces and remembering the day of the interview, I'm sure they did not think about third of Chickereing's vectors, movement through autonomy toward interdependence.
For traditional students, and even some non-traditional, college is as a sequence of developmental tasks and stages when biology and psychology converge. It qualitatively changes thinking, feeling, behaving, valuing, and relating to others and oneself (http://students.berkeley.edu/committees/bc/SAStudentDev.doc).
First Vector: Developing Competence.
The three types of competence that college students develop:
So let's talk about the first competency of the first vector...
If you're in college, moving through these vectors, wanting to develop and grow intellectually, you want to know:
What do the smart kids do?
Some think they are smart because of something deep inside of them called "intelligence" or "IQ" but people do not have "intelligence" stuffed somewhere inside their head making it easy for them to learn things. For most people, the difference between excelling and failing is almost entirely determined by what world you live in, and how you act in that world.
Most smart kids are smart because they live in a world where being smart works and being dumb doesn't. If you want to be smart too, you should spend as much time as possible in that sort of world. Be surrounded by the right kind of people and avoid the wrong kind of distractions, and you will start to reflect the world you are part of.
Here are five important behaviors characteristic of smart kids:
2) They do not attend class as tourists.
Smart kids don't just sit in class; they interact in class, even in lectures. If they cannot interact with their professors, then they interact with their peers or they interact with themselves — guessing what the professor might say next, trying to tie points together, trying to make connections with other things they know and other experiences they have had. Sometimes it is a struggle to pay attention in a class,. Find ways to keep paying attention to things, even if the speaker is not going out of his or her way to engage you, you need to put in the effort to engage. You have no idea how important this skill can be for the rest of your life.
3) When they study, they just study (most of the time).
Smart kids study by not doing other things. Let's say you have five classes, and that each class requires two hours of real studying out of class, per week, to do well (probably a good bet for your freshman classes, but a bad bet for your senior-year classes). That's only 10 hours of studying a week... no problem, right? But now let’s say that while you study you text, and watch TV. Now only 1/4 of your effort is going towards studying, and you need 40 hours. That is not going to happen. Ditch the distractions.
4) They talk to their friends and family about what they are learning in school.
If you do not want to spend some of your free time talking about school, you are doing something wrong. How is it that smart kids get in so many hours of studying? Some lock themselves in their room, true. But many just have friends who like to talk about school. In college you have new-found freedom to learn about things you want. Join a club that has to do with your major. Approach professors after class. Find ways to talk about the stuff you are learning in class with other people who are trying to learn the same thing.
5) They understand that different courses require different types of studying.
Smart kids know every course isn't the same. In college, you will need to adjust to many different professors who have different ways of running their class and different ways of evaluating your accomplishment. This is just like in real life! (Except substitute "boss" for "professor.") You should try to determine how class is run, and how you will be graded, and plan your studying accordingly. Ask other Terry Scholars. Learn about faculty before you can sign up for classes.
There were classes where I never read the book and classes where I always read before class - and I was an English major! The type of studying that lets you have a meaningful in class discussion and write a good essay is different than the type of studying that lets you fill out a factual multiple choice test. And by the way, if you are in a class that grades with essays... don't expect to do well if you were not keeping up with the discussions.
Your Part of the Deal
Don't be another student who expects class time to be wasted doing what you should be doing outside of class. It is your responsibility to become part of the wider campus community. It is your responsibility to be actively present in class. It is your responsibility to arrange your life so you can get out-of-class work done. It is your responsibility to bounce ideas and thoughts off of those around you. It is your responsibility to study and show up to class prepared, whatever that is in each class.
by Hunter Cisco
Going into college, the number one thing I wish somebody would have told me, or showed me rather, is a good studying technique that worked for me. When I first came to college, it was a challenge trying to adjust to college life, do course work, and develop an effective study method simultaneously. If you do not have a method already, the first step is to READ THE BOOKS. Many do not, and it really does help in understanding and retention of the topics. The key to success is to attend class and take useful notes. Then, when you get back from class, GO OVER THE NOTES (once the night after class and a second time the next day). Notes are there for review, not just to write and forget about. You will not believe the amount of time you save doing this as opposed to cramming and you will find you do not have to study as hard for exams to do very well.
by Bruce Wilson
by Bruce Wilson
by Paige Williams
ii.Orientation crew will still be excited about new students, and excited to be part of the crew.
ii.Don’t let your parents pick your classes.
iii.Everyone is different, if you think you can’t do it without your parents don’t hesitate to bring them along.
ii.This is also a great time to finish up homework for the afternoon class that you were too tired to finish the night before. (I have never finished an assignment ten minutes before class started, wink, wink.)
iii.Perfect time for that mid day nap if you live in the dorms.
ii.My best advising has come from older students with the same major, and they will tell you exactly what professors to take by there experience, most advisors will tell you all the professors are great (News Flash: They aren’t).
ii.Write out you plan to graduate and try to sprinkle blow out classes throughout your hard semester so you don’t go crazy.
iii.No sleep, enough said.
ii.I am taking Political Science online currently and I have worked a total of approximately 1 hour on it and I’m done with about 3 lessons.
ii.I have never ordered a book online, I would probably have a mental breakdown, but I have seen others who have and nothing is worse than not being able to your homework because your book hasn’t come in yet. Moral of the story: order online with caution.
ii.If you can manage your time and are enjoying yourself, go for it!
ii.Your time is too precious to spend on something that’s not enjoyable.
iii.There are too many organizations on campus to spend with one that is not making you happy.
ii.You should enjoy these since it is relevant to your chosen field.
ii.Take something that you love from high school or an outside passion and join a related group, and just have fun.
ii.You will see yourself improve in class.
iii.This will put a name to a face if you are in a large class.
iv.Don’t show up before the day of a test or a week before the end of the semester.
ii.Don’t email the day before a test asking for help or copies of notes. It won’t go over well.
iii.Be Professional, you are emailing a professor, not your buddy from summer camp.
ii.Don’t ask a professor for a recommendation letter if you made a poor grade in the class.
ii.Professors are not teachers; they are they to give you the information, it is your job to learn the material.
ii.The earlier you start is the easier it will be to get all the paperwork together and plan your graduation with study abroad included.
ii.The world isn’t safe. Be cautious at all times.
iii.Your parents will worry about you whether you are 15 miles away or 5,000 miles away.
ii.Should only be one page, and only one.
iv.Make a basic resume that you can change if to fit an array of positions you may apply for.
ii.Having a mentor gives you someone to ask questions, and give encouragement when you don’t know what you are doing with your life.
ii.Keep track of all volunteering, shadowing, and internships you do.
ii.Apply for positions as soon as possible so you don’t have to rush. I have extensive experience with application deadlines, and it is not an enjoyable experience.
iii.Use old essays if possible, will make writing 10 application essays a lot easier.
ii.The more honest and personable you are the more likely you are to get the position.
iii.Interviewers want a hard worker that can be an asset to the organization, not a robot that can recite an answer word for word.
ii.Save every essay you write, because prompts repeat, and you will often be able to piece together a completely new essay from all the things you have already written, and save a lot of brainpower.
ii.Dorms are a great transition from living with your parents, to living by yourself with roommates in an apartment.
ii.Yes, you won’t be the most fit person there, but most people are just like you with the goal of just getting more in shape.
iii.Avoid the freshman 15. Enough said.
ii.Most of the time it is useless (like how to purchase Sesame Street Live tickets (Has actually been on the Tech Announce)), but sometimes you find a really awesome event or opportunity that you would not have known about otherwise.
ii.I love to color code my planner depending on the event/due date and it really helps me get a overall picture of what I have on my plate that week.
ii.Find people and resources the will help you on your journey to success.
ii.It can be in your dorm room, the library, the SUB, or the math building. The list goes on and on. Just pick an environment that gets those creative juices flowing.
iii.When you get to this place, you know it is an environment where you can get things done.
iv.Consider Internet connection when finding your go to study area.
ii.How can you ace that math test tomorrow if you have stayed up until 3 am every day for the last week.
ii.This can include anything from dinner with friends, going to the rec, video games, reading, Netflix, or whatever else you do for relaxation.
ii.Football games are awesome no matter who you are.
ii.Of course you can keep up with high school friends, but there are over 30,000 people on campus, so go make a new friend.
ii.Go be who you want to be.
by Kacie Schiaffino
Taking tests is stressful, and dealing with test anxiety can be a major struggle. Here is a list of strategies to help you cope with test anxiety.
Be well prepared
It may sound clichéd, but the best way to do well on a test is to be well prepared. Do not wait until the day before the test to start studying. Try to look at the material and practice it every day. Know the material well enough that you would be comfortable teaching it to someone else. If you are well prepared, there is less of a chance that your mind will go blank on the exam.
Take your time
When you are put in a high pressure situation like an exam, it's easy to feel rushed. You may try to hurry through the exam, only to find out you made some easy mistakes. To combat this, take 5 to 10 deep breaths before you open the exam booklet. Then, skim through all the parts of the exam, writing down any quick notes to remind yourself of things later. Then go back through the exam, carefully reading through each question twice and underlining any major points. If you get stuck on a question, just move on to the next one. Put a star or a symbol in the margin to remind yourself to come back to that question later. If you start to feel overwhelmed, look up at the ceiling and take a few more deep breaths. You may find it helpful to work backwards through the test, as the more difficult problems are usually the last ones.
Practice in a similar setting
Although you cannot fully prepare yourself for the actual test, there are a number of things you can do to help replicate the same setting. Using a practice test or review, set a timer and try to complete it without using any of your notes. This is a great way to really see what you know, and what you still need to work on. Timing yourself and not relying on any notes help replicate the high pressure setting of an actual test. The more you practice the easier it will become, and the better you will be able to perform on the actual test. If you do not have a review or practice test, then make your own. This will force you to think like an instructor and help you to see patterns between different topics. You will also learn to evaluate the material by thinking about what the most important topics are, and which ones you can just graze over.
Remember: It's only a test
It does affect your grade, but it's important to remember that one test will not make or break you. A test is just the way that you can show your professors how much you have learned. It is a form of communication from you to them. Always write down as much as you know, and give explanations for your answers. This also forces you to really think about your answer and whether it is sound. And remember to keep your audience in mind. The best answer is one that an instructor has previously given in class during lecture. So be thoughtful with your answers. If you feel you did poorly, then take it as a learning experience. Find ways you could improve how you study, and then implement them.
Test anxiety doesn't have to leave you shaking and your mind blank. By being mindful of how you study and take tests, you can catch on to what works or doesn't work for you. This translates into better grades and a better peace of mind.
by Zoie Walker
We all know how much of a blessing the Terry foundation is in our lives. They have given us one of the greatest gifts: an education. One of the most valuable aspects of being part of such an incredible program is the family that you will develop with your peers. I have met my closest friends in college through the Terry program. Now that the Tech Terrys are growing so rapidly, we have connections throughout campus. If you want to learn more about student government, we have incredible leaders. If you are interested in engineering, we have some real Terry brainiacs in that department. Nursing, education, agriculture, business, architecture, you name it… Terrys are everywhere. You have access to an immediate family at college that most freshmen dream of having. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Upperclassmen can help you figure out which classes are the most interesting and which professors to avoid. Most importantly, don’t forget to learn from and support those around you. College is hard, and the friends that you make during this time in your life will be there to help you when you need it most. Who you know in college can make you or break you, so don’t throw away the chance to get to know your amazing Tech Terry brothers and sisters.
by Matthew McCutchen
Before we get too far in to this new semester and lose sight of our New Year’s resolutions, I simply challenge you as a Terry Scholar to lay out some goals for yourself so that you can look back at this year as the most successful and fulfilling yet.
Back in 2014 I had a life changing experience through setting realistic but challenging goals. I served this organization as a freshman mentor and asked my mentees to join in with me as we worked together to become the best versions of ourselves possible. In my personal life, that meant to grow academically, socially, and spiritually. I sought after help when the hardships of the semester came and went and was encouraged often. My first tip to you this semester is to create accountability with close friends. Allowing others to come into your life and walk alongside you in any aspect you are seeking to improve will be beneficial. Likewise, you will have new found opportunities to help others and grow deeper in friendships and relationships.
When considering the overwhelming cluster of goals to set, I suggest a short period of reflection. Ask yourself where you succeeded and what improvements should be made this semester. Make a list or take notes of these items, categorize, and prioritize them.
Consider the amount of time you will spend on your classes, your existing involvement or job, and then add or subtract when necessary. Be careful when adding more class hours or involvement, and be as realistic and honest with yourself as possible. Over commitment can add stress to your life and prevent you from being well-balanced. I also want you to consider setting goals that are SMART. SMART goals are Specific, Meaningful, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Timely.
The last thing I ask of you once you have written out your goals is to put it somewhere you can see it every day. Former Chancellor Kent Hance attributed his success in life by taking 5 minutes out of each day to plan or reflect on his days while focusing on the goals he’s set.
Whatever you decide to tackle this semester, I hope that setting goals forces you to be uncomfortable and stretches you as a person. If you continue to remember the great gift you have been given from the Terry Foundation and use it to pursue your passions and interests, you are sure to be successful this year!