Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
Although Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a popular children’s book, the message of not being afraid to try new things appeals to people of all ages.
College can seem scary when you first arrive as you take in new faces while trying to learn new rules. With so many things thrown at you all at once, it can be challenging to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.
Why not eliminate some stress by familiarizing yourself with the most important places on campus? We’ve listed the top five below:
Your campus library should be your home-away-from-home. In the library, you’ll find:
- Thousands and thousands of books, at least one of which is relevant to the paper you’re writing;
- A huge database of reference articles, scholarly magazines, academic papers and even movies and CDs;
- A quiet place to study, which includes private rooms if you need to spread out or do a group project;
- Plenty of computers with Wi-Fi access; and
- Reference librarians who can help you find just about anything you need to know.
College libraries offer tours and orientation sessions. They have printed pamphlets describing their services, and they have a page on your school’s website. And a reference librarian’s whole job is to help you find the resources you need to do well in school.
Tip: If you’re looking for a great part-time, on-campus job, check the library!
The Career Center
Your school’s career center is not just for graduating seniors – it’s a place where you can get advice and help—from your first day at school to your last.
- Career guidance: The career center offers self-assessment tools to help you discover how your personality traits, interests and abilities match up with different careers. They don’t just leave you alone to figure out what the heck the results mean, either – career center staff can help you research careers, put you in touch with alumni who have jobs in those careers and even find internships in those career fields.
- Resume writing and interview skills: The career center offers workshops on how to write resumes and how to prepare for a job interview. If you ask, they’ll edit and proofread your resume, and run through a practice interview with you.
- Finding a job or an internship: The career center posts part-time and full-time job openings, hosts job fairs where employers come to your school to recruit graduates, and lists internships.
The Tutoring Center
Every school has academic support resources. Sometimes, it’s a central tutoring center with staff who can help in several subjects. Others schools have an English Center and Math Lab and Language Labs. Look up these resources on your school’s website. See what they have to offer then go visit them; find out about individual tutors or group study sessions and take advantage of these resources BEFORE you need them.
Your Departmental Office
When you choose a major you are assigned an academic advisor, or if you are “undecided” (and that’s FINE because most students either start out “undecided” or become undecided more than once during their college career!) a freshman advisor is selected for you.
Your advisor knows:
- a lot about your school’s rules and regulations
- the guidelines for your major
- add/drop deadlines
- how to file an incomplete
- how to apply for study abroad
- what order you need to take your classes in
- about internships and job openings in your department
- about where to get on-campus academic or counseling help
Simply put, your advisor knows your school and can also write a really good letter of recommendation down the road – IF he/she knows you well enough.
The Financial Aid Office
As an independent student, paying for school is your own responsibility. You’ve got ETV and maybe a scholarship or two, but there are other resources out there and your financial aid officer can help you access what you’re eligible for. Make an appointment with your financial aid officer and find out how to pay for school with as few loans as possible.
What we’ve listed above are just a few main campus resources. When you attend orientation you should have learned about many more. Your school most likely offers peer mentoring, intramural sports, and a multitude of clubs and societies geared to every interest.
Take advantage of all your school’s resources – it will make your time as a student more successful and more rewarding.