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Advice column: New to campus?

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This fall had so many new students coming to St. Cloud. Some of them were freshmen, while some are transfer students and non-traditional students. Many may not know of the resources that the schools offers. I know how hard it is to be a new student.

When I came to school here, I felt like I was not good enough. I felt that I would not be successful, and that I would not do as well as others. I felt bad. I told myself that absolutely nothing could make me feel better. I was always down and did not want to make friends. If there are any freshmen students feeling like this, it is completely normal and it can be solved. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed in the first year.

That is the good news.

To start, I recommend taking general classes. I jumped straight into my major when I came to SCSU. I am not saying it is not good, but it is important to try out new subjects before deciding on a major.

It is also important to make use of Career Services before choosing your major. Career Services is on the second floor of Centennial Hall. It is important to make use of them, so as to best choose your best major and to know what you want to be in life, since that is the reason why we are in college.

They help with resumes, cover letters, internship searches, job searches, LinkedIn and many more services that will help you in starting a career. They can answer questions about careers and also make mock interviews to help you feel more comfortable with real interviews. I encourage students to go there.

Another important resource is the Academic Learning Center.

There are so many classes in college that are new, because you do not have a background knowledge of the subject. I remember when I first came and took a geography class. It was hard. I went to the Academic Learning Center. They didn’t have tutors at the time, but they got one for me. They offer tutors in chemistry, physics, history, biology, economics and more. You could also make use of the Math Skills Center. Both are on the second floor of Centennial Hall.

Then there’s the Write Place

In college you will write tons of papers and would likely benefit from their help. They book online appointments, so if you do not have time to go in person, you can do the appointments at home.

It is really a great idea to go there and have someone look at your papers and give you their opinion about it. It is also helpful to go there if you have no ideas. They can help you brainstorm and write that long paper you thought you could never write. They also help with properly citing as professors are very particular about that. They can help you with anything from grammar to punctuation; spelling and organization. They also hold writing seminars which can be useful to attend.

Another great resource is the library. The library has study rooms that help you study quietly. The librarians in the library can help you find books for classes and navigate the website, so that you can use the academic search databases.

For new students, it is not rare for you to be stressed out with school and classes. It is very normal and it is important to handle it before it gets worse. SCSU offers counseling services on campus. Even if you do not feel stressed, you can just go there and talk about anything at all. It is important to not bottle any issues up when you feel something is wrong.

The Multi-Cultural Resource Center is a good resource for international students and for any students at all. They can help with advising for classes and for help with anything going on in life in general. They plan events that expose you to other cultures. They can help with answering questions about connecting with other professors. They also bring speakers to campus, who often have interesting ideas on career opportunities.

My best advice is to talk to your professors and classmates. They can help you ease the stress of classes and make your college experiences better. Ask questions in class and don’t be shy . Participation counts a lot in class. Be early to class too as it looks bad to be late and miss all the important information.

It is also very useful to join academic clubs. They can help you get more ideas on classes and connect you with more people in your major. It also connects you to people that could help you in study. You can gain real-life experiences through these clubs and you can also be connected to mentors.

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