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Wisdom for, from all stages

By DAN JONES / VN STAFF WRITER
On April 11, 2017

In case you missed it, we have been talking with members of each class and asking about their experiences as college students.

What were students’ expectations before coming to UDM?

What changes have they gone through?

How has the school changed?

Did they exaggerate the difficulty of college before attendance?

Were there aspects they didn’t expect?

How was their overall experience?

What advice did they have for fellow classmates (including underclassmen)?

Every student I talked to evolved in some way. This is expected (without the interviews) and not surprising.

However, we did receive some significant advice.

Freshman tip #1: Get a job.

Seriously. Working on campus can bring in cash (in check form) and also create new bonds.

Freshman tip #2: Talk to your professors.

They are not just out to get you or fail you. They want you to succeed.

I know. This might seem different from certain high school teachers’ motives.

Sophomore tip #1: You haven’t learned it all.

Remember to be humble. The wise one doesn’t set out to prove professors incorrect after one year (or four, for that matter).

Sophomore tip #2: Take it seriously. But not too seriously. Seriously.

Explore and want the experience and education.

It isn’t just about hitting the books, but it’s not about not hitting the books, either.

Junior tip #1: Not knowing is OK.

You’re not expected to know everything, and your next year, your final undergrad year, won’t be the pre-production course for your entire life.

Junior tip #2: Be honest with yourself.

Look to friends and family (or just other human bodies) for support.

They’re there.

And if you’re internally struggling about something, anything, say it out loud.

You’ll feel better and most likely benefit from some advice.

Senior tip #1: Talk to your professors. You may find a mentor.

You are assigned an advisor, but remember to look outside of your department.

Guidance is everywhere, and may better your experience.

Senior tip #2: Stay on top of your credits.

We are usually warned about this from day one, but many of us have miscalculated the mandatory credits to graduate.

This can sometimes be due to a “W” (withdrawal).

You want advice from one more senior? Me? Sure.

Tip for all classmen: Take the classes with the longest running time.

This is my personal experience, and I have not generalized these findings in any way, but it seems that professors don’t know what to do with the extra time. (No offense.)

For instance, if I took a 50-minute class three times a week, I would have more homework and less time to do it.

However, if I took the one-hour, 15-minute class two times a week, the class would be more student-friendly and just as efficient.

Two-hour and 30-minute classes work the same way – longer lectures, less restraints on homework.

Four-hour, 30-minute summer classes, however, might not follow this pattern.

I suppose there’s a threshold.

Lots of reading may come packaged with one of these.

I am not giving anyone advice on how to get an easy A.

That isn’t – and has never been – my style or work ethic.

Lastly, I would advise signing up to write for The Varsity News if you have the chops.

It can be counted as a class and help you grow as a writer.

That’s it. Pass it all along.

And I’ll see ya if you’re walking.

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