Got a problem? Check in with BJ Roche or Raz Sibii
We can really help you, no matter what's up. It's UMass! There's a way through or around any problem that you have, whether it's financial aid or trouble with a prof. Don't hide out in your room. Ask for help.
Managing your time
Profs expect you spend two to three hours of studying for every hour in class. For a three-credit course, this is about seven to nine hours a week. So treat college like it's a 40-hour-a-week job. This means working (at least) five days a week, eight hours a day, even if your roommate checks out on Thirsty Thursday night. You'll need to set up your own system, but here are a few suggestions: The Time and Goals method from UT-Austin. Here's 8 Ways to Take Control of Your Time from the College Board. Best point: number 2: Keep your work with you, because when you get ten or 15 minutes, you'd be amazed what you can accomplish. Here's Eight Steps for Strong Time Management for College Students.
Managing college reading
Many students say they are overwhelmed by the amount of reading. You may need to change the way you read if you are going to manage it all. Take a look at these links, which I culled from the Ivies. I took a speed reading course in college. It really helped.
- Active reading strategies (Thank you, Princeton.)
- Increasing your reading speed (Hat tip, Cornell!)
- Active Reading: Comprehension and Rate (Well-played, Dartmouth.)
If you're struggling, or you are worried that you will be, here are some strategies.
- Find a tutor. Join a Supplemental Instruction Seminar for your course, through the Learning Resource Center on the tenth floor of the library. These informal peer-run groups go over material in several large math, science and comp sci courses. There's also regularly-scheduled tutoring sessions for lots of classes.
- If your class isn't on the above list, you can still sign up for tutoring or other types of help at the Learning Resource Center. This is a terrific resource on campus. Use it!
- Talk to the professor. Visit during his or her office hours, or after class. If you're having trouble, chances are good that you are not alone. Profs want to get to know you, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there and ask for help. It could be the beginning of a life-long relationship.
- Develop a good note-taking strategy, and review your notes before and after class. Here's a good system. If you have a question about the test, ask it! If it's a large course with a discussion section, rely on the TA to help you. As Jenn Im points out in her video, profs aren't mind readers. You've got to let them know about points of confusion.
- Here's a good test preparation system.