What do these people expect me to do?

High School was one thing, but understanding the expectations of each professor can be challenging.  While a good amount of college students choose to not read their syllabus, I would like to stress that key information for successful completion of a course could be embedded in the syllabus.  The key to your success could be in your binder, and you haven’t read it.

It is true that a few professors don’t construct a syllabus in a way that it can be beneficial to you.  That is a very small percentage.  The majority will have things in there like:

Test dates

Assignment descriptions (sometimes they never mention the assignment and when you don’t submit it you get a failing grade!)

Pet peeves (pulling out your cell phone can get you a failing or lower grade just because they wrote it in the syllabus  — and you didn’t even realize that they saw you!)

Online assignments (sometimes there are assignments that are never discussed in class that you must do online)

Other expectations of professors range from being:

responsible for your education (not blaming others for poor performance, etc.);

highly motivated to succeed; 

attending class regularly;

completing all assignments;

collaborating with peers;

using available help to achieve academic success (tutoring center, etc.)

changing what you are doing if it is not working;

demonstrating a passion for learning;

managing your emotions;

having realistic self-confidence about themselves and their ability to succeed in college.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Why is everything so confusing?

Were you ever in on a joke that only a few people understood?  It felt good to be “in the know”, didn’t it?  Did you feel, almost, superior to those that didn’t “get it”?  Don’t feel bad.  We have all had moments when we were privy to information that others did not have and it made us feel confidence in ourselves and in where we stood. 

It may feel the same way for you in your first weeks at college.  People are speaking a strange language that you don’t understand.  They are running their lives by expectations that you are not aware of.  They are going to and from with ease and you feel foolish trying to find the laundry room. 

Upperclassmen, professors, and staff all seem to be in on the same joke with the same lingo, the same world and orbit in which they are all surviving and thriving in and they don’t seem to be willing to let you in on the secret language.

In order to survive and thrive you must learn about this new culture and the expectations of you.  Who should you go to?  Who would be willing to and knowledgeable of the necessary information to make your transition to college a smooth one?

There are lots of things that you can do/know to ensure your success:

Read your syllabi

Read your college catalogue

Create a long-term educational plan

Know your general requirements

Know your prerequisites

Confirm your major

Meet with instructors during office hours

Know the importance of grade point average (GPA)

Know how to compute GPA

If you stop attending class, withdraw officially

Talk to instructors before withdrawing

Know your lifetime eligibility for financial aid

Keep a file of important documents

Keep a journal

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Leveraging your gifts

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

Balancing school and life can be a challenge for many college students. The time commitments involved with attending classes, completing homework, holding down a job and making time for a social life can feel overwhelming. Learning how to be productive so you get your assignments done on time and still have room in your life for other activities can make a big difference.

Here are some tips as you start your college journey:

Find the right environment -Where you work matters. Create a space conducive to productivity.  For some it will be there room, for others they will need to reserve a study room in the library.

Work during your peak productivity-Pay attention to when you are most alert during the day (or even the night). Many of us have body cycles that can be tracked. Try to arrange your schedule so homework time takes place during your peak hours.

Start with the most important item-Prioritize your assignments to focus on the most important task first. Homework journals and planners also work well for managing assignments. Set up reminders on your app to alert you two or three days before something is due.

Begin the homework session-Get started with the harder assignment first, while you are still relatively fresh and before two or three hours saps your will power. The longer you work, the harder it is to resist distractions.

Break down your projects-Another step in how to be productive is to break down your projects. This strategy gives you the ability to take a break when you feel stuck on a task and switch to another assignment. You can complete homework over two or three sessions, rather than scrambling at the last minute and you’ll work will be of higher quality.

Apps are your friends-Web-based and mobile apps can be extremely helpful. Use scheduling and to-do apps to break down homework tasks and coordinate on group projects. Set up reminders and alerts for the most important items. There are time management apps that help you keep track of your productivity so you can identify and eliminate problem behaviors. It is even possible to use programs that shut down your access to social media networks for a period of time so that you aren’t tempted to surf the web when you should be studying.

Planning ahead and developing good study habits is essential in helping you get your work done more quickly, leaving time for other pursuits as you kick off your first year of college.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Am I the only one frustrated?

Many students find their first few weeks in college a confusing and frustrating period.  Even excellent students who achieved high grades in high school discover that college is a difficult and challenging experience.

Getting started in college may be difficult for you because it is a completely new situation.  The physical surroundings are new and it is easy to feel lost.  Making new friends and college classes can be a challenge.  You may not know anyone to ask questions of and the classes are conducted differently from high school classes.  Your professors have different expectations from your high school teachers.  You will find that you have a lot of work and responsibility, but also a lot of freedom.  The first few weeks of class you may feel as if the schoolwork is actually less than what you used to do in high school.  My comment to that is, “You’re doing it wrong”.  The beginning of any semester is when you should expect to do a lot of work and a lot of preparation in order to have a successful semester. 

In the first few weeks of each semester and in order to achieve success in college you should master 1) what is expected of you in your classes and your college surroundings, 2) becoming an active learner, 3) getting off on the right start, 4) learning about campus facilities and resources, 5) becoming familiar with your textbooks, and 6) learning to manage stress.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Fear of Failure

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” – C.S. Lewis

Feeling stupid…students use that word all of the time. I cringe every time I hear someone utter the word.

Stupid.  I hadn’t considered how the power of that word multiplies when it takes the form of self-speak. I hadn’t realized how much it scared me to think that that word might follow students throughout their lives.

But: Lack of awareness is not the same as ignorance. Ignorance is a choice, a willful turning away from knowledge. That choice is the opposite of education, and anyone who pursues a college degree should take words like “stupid” out of their vocabulary.

We’re not stupid. We’re not ignorant. The biggest lessons with the most powerful punch are smack dab in the middle of the uncomfortable moments—always the clearest indicator that we’re present in a perfect storm of learning. The truly brave then know there’s an adventure to have if we look for even more information about our perception gap.

Feeling stupid is a gut reaction of fear that the person you are learning from is judging you and thinking less of you. Maybe they are. I suspect that the grading system used by institutional education is part of what creates that fear. But we can be gentler and kinder to ourselves. Try to be grateful for those learning moments and to let the fear of judgment go.

Stupid can be such a divisive word. It’s harmful because it rejects the fact that you always had, and will continue to have, the capacity to learn.

Don’t worry. You’re a better person than you were a moment before, and it’s mostly because of the most real form of education.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

The Journey begins….Where do I start?

Beginning college can be daunting.  This is a total life change for you.  New teachers.  New peers.  New subjects.  New schedule.  You may even be dealing with a new living arrangement.  This is a total game changer.  You may think you’ve got this or you may be very anxious about this new experience.  Regardless of which angle you are coming from, this is new. 

New needs are coming your way.  New expectations, it will seem, from everybody.  All of this “newness” can be anxiety-inducing.  No worries.  We are here to tackle this together.  Let’s get a head start before things get overwhelming.

Let’s hit the ground running so that you can feel a sense of control that most new college students rarely feel in their first semester of college.

Don’t let yourself relax, yet.  Get the “lay of the land” and know what you must do before you fall into that comfy chair and allow the rest of the semester pass you by.

This week we will address topics such as: 

Learn your campus

Locate your classrooms

Learn your instructors’ names, office locations, and office hours

Study the syllabus for each class

Get all of your learning supplies

Create a schedule

Get comfortable with campus technology

Manage your money

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/