Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Continuing the necessary academic and personal adjustments

Week two of the semester is underway! By now, students are getting a feel for just how challenging their course load will be.  A month away from school can cause some students to get out of their regular routines, in addition to having to adjust to a new schedule of courses. 

Here a few ways that students can make the most of their semester and continue to hone the skills necessary to be a successful student:

Determining the best time of day to study

Morning, afternoon or night? Your student will have to make this determination. Cline Library is open late (until 2 AM on Mondays – Thursdays to be exact) to accommodate those night owls, but each person knows when they are best able to process information. 

Finding an adequate study location

An adequate study location is just as important as the time of day.  A student may be able to truly study and do their homework within their residence hall rooms, while others need very quiet spaces to complete such tasks. There are study rooms in the freshmen residence halls that your son/daughter can use as well.  Hours for academic buildings vary, but that is also a suggestion for a study spot. 

Establishing a relationship with the course instructor

There’s no excuse for your student to go all semester without at least introducing themselves to each of their instructors.  It might seem intimidating at first, but establishing communication with an instructor can have lasting benefits.  Talk to your student about making an appointment with their instructor during office hours, especially if they find themselves struggling with course material.

Getting and staying organized

A planner has the potential to be a college student’s best friend! Our memories are not always reliable when it comes to assignment due dates.  Writing test dates down in a planner or organizer can help students plan accordingly and not always feel the need to cram the night before an exam.  A $10 investment now can go a long way! It might even help your student to plan out study times at the beginning of the week, based on other obligations.  

The Student Learning Centers offer other study skills resources for students.  

As always, contact Parent and Family Services with your questions and concerns.  We are here to help you help your student make the most of their experience at Northern Arizona University!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome to the new semester!

Summer orientation seems like a distant memory, especially as your student begins their second semester of college!  The first time around is full of new learning experiences.  What’s even better? Your student can take those newly learned lessons about their study, sleeping, and eating habits then apply them accordingly during the spring semester.  Additionally, students have flexibility in selecting their schedules.  Maybe class at 8 AM did not work out for your student; we hope they took that into consideration when building their spring schedule of courses. 

Here are a few reminders about campus resources that your student can help your student make the most of their experience at NAU:

Tutoring and study skills workshops at the Student Learning Centers:  These opportunities are provided at no cost to students.  Study skills workshops can assist students with time management techniques, how to deal with stress, as well as how to take effective notes.  Tutoring appointments last for 45 minutes each and assistance is available for most courses.   Encourage your student to contact the Student Learning Centers as needed.

Group fitness classes at the Health and Learning Center: Meeting new people and getting in shape sounds like the perfect combination! Your student can take advantage of the various fitness courses available through Campus Recreation Services that include: yoga, zumba, kickboxing and many more.  If your student is not into the group exercise format, he/she can still use the indoor track or exercise bikes to work out.

Getting involved with a campus organization: There are over 200 student organizations on campus, so your student has to fit in somewhere! Groups range from cultural to religious to academic and everything else in between.  Students can access a list of active organizations on the Student Life website.  If none of those groups interest your student, they just need three other students to start a brand new organization.

Cheers to a great spring semester!

Crystal Nance
Parent and Family Services Coordinator
Northern Arizona University