Green Bay Packer training camp is underway in preparation for the new season. Obviously the players do not expect to just to show up and play the first game without training and practice.
I wonder how many “rookie” students heading off to college this fall expect to show up and take up studies on the first day of classes without some conditioning and training in preparation for this big step after taking the summer off?
What can you do over the next month to get off to a winning start in college?
¦ Meet with an advisor now, if you have not already done so. This will help you think about what lies ahead and what you will need to get done. Degree planning and course selection is a critical step to ensure a smooth path towards completion of a degree. Generally, a student who skips this step ends up taking more credits and paying more in tuition than another who establishes a trusting relationship with an academic advisor. Classes fill up fast so the earlier you get registered, the more choices you will have — and that’s a huge advantage in planning your time. At the University of Wisconsin-Marinette, advisers meet one-on-one by appointment with in-coming students, unlike larger schools.
¦ Read. Keep your mind active and maybe pick a book that has some connection to a course you will be taking. Email the professor (contact information will be available on the campus website) and ask for a recommendation. UW-Marinette has faculty who are very accessible and dedicated solely to teaching undergraduates such as you.
¦ Research campus employment opportunities. This is a great way to stay connected to campus during the semester and work with faculty and staff.
¦ Explore textbooks. Textbooks are expensive. If you can find what the books are in each course, you’ll be able to explore purchase and rental options ahead of time, saving a great deal of money in some cases.
¦ Prepare a budget. Tuition and fees, textbooks, living expenses — how much does it all add up to? Living within a budget is important in reducing debt and the stress that can come with that. If you have chosen to attend UW-Marinette, with tuition of only $2,500 per semester, then you are already well ahead in the savings game!
¦ Explore strategies to help you succeed. Managing your time is a matter of prioritizing your time to align with your goal of getting a college degree, but how do you actually do it? The best students are not necessarily the smartest — there are techniques you can use to get the most out of class time and studying, but what are they? You should begin to think about these and other questions, such as handling money, relationships, and stress, and you can do so by visiting a local bookstore and investing in a book that will help you start on the right path in these matters — it will be well worth the cost and time.
¦ Clean up your social media. Make sure your personal email address is one you’d be happy to share with any professional, and likewise with your Facebook and other social media posts. Remember, this is fresh start and the start of a different phase of life — begin well.
¦ Relax. Recharge your batteries during the remaining weeks of summer; visit with family and friends.
Don’t let fall come and be out of shape — start with your A-game!
Keith Montgomery is the regional executive officer and dean at UW Colleges North Region. Various University of Wisconsin faculty and staff will submit a column about college-related subjects on a regular basis. It will appear on the Community Page.