Who is better suited to give classroom advice than your very own professor? Below you will find some very helpful insider scoop from various L&C professors from different academic backgrounds. Take what they say to heart because pretty soon you will be sitting in their classroom!
"One of the most important skills you will learn in college is time management. There are more than enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you wish to do, so long as you have a good sense of how your time is spent. Structure your days and weeks with a planner. On a daily basis, this will help you make efficient use of small blocks of time (thirty minutes here, an hour there). On a weekly basis, this will help you figure out when papers are due and midterms take place, making it easier to create a long-term study plan.
Do not do the readings fifteen minutes before class, and do not write papers the night before they are due—these strategies are more stress than they are worth.
Do not be afraid to ask questions of your professors. Visiting your professor’s office hours is an excellent way of making sure that you are grasping the concepts that you need to master. We get paid to educate you, but you need to let us know exactly how we can help you.
Initially sample a wide variety of extracurricular activities, then decide to focus on a few. Make sure that they do not overwhelm your school work—that too is a strategy that will create a lot of unneeded stress."
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"College chemistry is fast-paced compared to many high school chemistry courses. A large amount of material is covered in only three one-hour lectures per week. Your professor will most likely not have the time to work many problems in front of the class. Instead, it’s likely that lectures will focus on learning underlying concepts.
On the last day of classes, the students in the fall 2009 Chem 110 course provided the following advice to future chemistry students. I think they give good advice!"
- “By the end of the class you learn all of the ways that would have helped you learn throughout the year. Save yourself some time and follow the advice.”
- “Definitely do group work – with people who actually care about understanding the material… The people that just want the answer are not helpful, so find different people quickly!”
- “Read the book ahead of lecture.”
- “Complete problem sets well before they are due so you have time to seek help and clarification.”
- “Make regular use of office hours.”
- “If you don’t understand something, ask about it sooner rather than later.”
- “Really pressure yourself to pinpoint what you don’t understand. Even trying to understand will help you become more familiar with the material.”
- “Do extra problems…. You have to get used to the problems because the test time is only an hour long, so you have to be quick about the work.”
- “Practice, practice, practice!”
Want more information about Chemistry at L&C? Click here! _____________________________________________________________________
"Manage your time. Working from your syllabi, chart all of your assignments on a calendar. Understand and work within each professor’s policies on extensions. Refer to your calendar as you plan each week and each day. Begin your assignments well in advance. Give yourself enough time to get stuck, or to have something go wrong, as well as enough time to edit and polish you work a day or two after completing it.
Keep your chin up. Assume that all criticism is constructive. If you don’t do well on an assignment, make an appointment to see the professor. Ask her how you could have done better. If you don’t understand how to achieve what she’s suggesting, ask for more specific, practical direction. If you already knew how to do everything perfectly, you’d have no reason to be here!
Participate in class discussions. Do the reading, and then be prepared to take a few risks. If you have a comment, contribute it. If you have a question, ask it. If you’re confused about something, there’s a good chance a few other people are too.
Sleep. It makes you smarter and you’ll feel better, too."
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"If you fear public speaking, don't avoid it! Sign up for courses that will help you overcome that fear. You're not alone--many people panic at the thought of giving a talk in public. Being able to confidently speak before an audience is a critical skill in life and the small, supportive classes at LC are a great place to overcome your anxiety and improve your skills.
Likewise, make sure you participate in class discussions. It's part of your grade in many LC classes because it's how we think aloud together. It's also part of making you a leader at work and in your community. One attribute of group leaders is the ability to get the floor and express ideas in a way that connects with what is going on in the group. If you're having a hard time getting a word in edgewise, meet with your professor to brainstorm strategies for improving your participation.
Meeting with your professor is a good strategy for all kinds of challenges you may encounter (and you can meet with professors even when you don't have any problems, just to say "hi" or to talk about things you find interesting in class). Your professors are here at LC because we like to interact with students! See when office hours are and whether or not your professor has a sign up system. Sometimes, you can also just swing by and see if your professor's office door is open."
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"1. Come visit the Mathematical Sciences Department. We have a small kitchen that is shared with students and a lounge for relaxing or doing homework. Disregard stereotypes of mathematically inclined people! The department is a very social group.
2. Form a study group for your math course immediately. You can help each other through tricky homework questions, check each other's work, and support each other in preparing for exams. Discussing math with peers is one of the best ways to fix it into memory. If you don't know anyone in your class, ask a professor to help you connect up with others who want to join a study group.
3. When I was an undergrad I thought office hours were only for students who were doing poorly, and I found professors scary. This was a mistake! Every day students use office hours to discuss problems the get stuck on (everyone gets stuck sometimes), to discuss extensions of the material covered in class, to ask about majors and career paths, and to discuss summer programs and internships.
4. Use the Math Skills Center. Consider meeting with your study group there! The Center is especially useful if some of the tools you need for class are rusty. The tutors are happy to help out with everything from algebra to 200 level courses."
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"The greatest resource for you are your professors’ office hours. Many students think that going to their professor’s office is a sign of weakness, or that they will be laughed at for needing extra help. It’s actually the opposite- when you stop by my office, I realize that you care enough to really learn how to learn. Moreover, it helps you understand what my expectations are, and what you can do to succeed.
To do well in foreign language courses, you need to realize that you cannot be passive. In order to gain any competency, you need to be active in the learning process. Get over your shyness and speak in class! Also, try to immerse yourself in the target language: watch TV, listen to music in another language, go to the Spanish table, read the news in Spanish- whatever you can get your hands on. You can’t expect to improve if your brain is only exposed to the new language during class time.
Don’t obsess over what you will major in, or how many majors you can complete. Your major does not lock you into a specific career path, and you can do just about anything with any major. The point of a liberal arts university is to provide you with a well-rounded education- play around and discover!"
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"Lewis & Clark International Affairs Department offers a cornucopia of interdisciplinary academic opportunities for majors and non-majors alike. If this is a strong interest of yours, the best place to start is with our IA 100 Introduction to International Affairs course, which gives a real sense of the nature of the field. The department offers multiple sections taught by different professors whose approaches are quite different from each other, so you should check with fellow students--and, the professors themselves--to determine which approaches are best suited to your learning style. If you are considering a major in International Affairs, you ought to talk with a faculty member in the department as soon as possible, for the field is quite popular among Lewis & Clark students and the areas of inquiry addressed can be quite multifaceted and complex. From the outset, an emphasis is placed on independent critical thinking skills, and you will need to find ways to learn and take notes from both discussions and lectures. There are also extracurricular activities you can get involved in right away: the International Affairs Symposium (an annual Spring student-run event where contending speakers are brought in from all over the world), the Meridian (a student-run international relations journal), and Model United Nations."
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Whether you know it or not, you have joined a community of learners trying to figure out the world. But you also need to figure out yourself - who exactly you are and who you want to be both inside yourself and as a member of the world. According to the legendary psychologist Erik Erikson, identity formation is the central issue for you at this point in your development. Achieving an identity is a two-part mission if you choose to accept it. The first step is to explore a wide-range of options, try on different roles and ways of behaving, and discard ones that don't feel right. The second is to make firm commitments to, and plans of action for, a future vocation, a sexual identity, and a set of values and beliefs to live by.
Your experiences at Lewis & Clark College can help you attain a strong, coherent identity. Take advantage of the opportunities to interact with others who are different from you, to gather and evaluate information about yourself and about ways of approaching the world, and to do soul searching about your strengths, weaknesses, and desires. Speak a lot in class and assess how others respond to your ideas; take courses on topics you know nothing about and see how you perform; explore different ways of helping others; and talk with your advisor about career options. Faculty will do their part by challenging you, exposing you to different perspectives, and giving you honest feedback. Through our common interests and collaborative activities you will learn a lot, both in general and about yourself. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you will graduate knowing who you are and the role you want to have in the world.
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