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UW Professor's Advice on Success|Advice for A's

25 Tips to Survive and Thrive Your Freshman Year

Tip #7

Meet with your professors.

There are only upsides to getting to know your professors, especially if later in the semester you run into some snags. Professors schedule office hours for the sole purpose of meeting with students - take advantage of that time.

see full list here

We polled UW Professors and asked: How can new students at UW be successful?  Here's what we heard:

What is the one thing students can do to improve their chances for success at UW?

64%: Go to class

20%: Read class materials

8%: Form study groups

8%: Don’t go out until you finish your homework

What is the most important quality in a freshman?

Have curiosity about ideas and concern about forming a "total life".  Don't be fixated  on facts! Be prepared to deal with independent problem solving
-Theatre & Dance
Don't resist stretching yourself academically
-Environmental & Natural Resources
Be prepared to go to class and read class materials.  College professors cannot take the time to define homework and teach freshman to study.  Be motivated to read and study, but understand that just reading a text like a novel or filling in the homework answers doesn't help memorize material.
Have a clear understanding of what is and what is not academic dishonesty.
-Computer Science
Hone your verbal and writing communication skills
-Management & Marketing
Ask questions if you don't understand an assignment or what is expected of you in class.
-Modern & Classical Languages
The most important skills (period) would be: Read critically. Write correctly (with proper spelling, grammar, and structure).   Math competency, up to pre-calculus.  Anything less than that should be considered remedial.
-Computer Science
Understand how to use the various materials that are made available to you. For example, you should understand how to read tge class schedule website, your course audit check sheets, and the General Bulletin.  Many students seem to wander around hoping that someone will give them an answer to a question that they could look up themselves.
Come to the realization that the hand holding that so often occurs in high school is in the past.  The idea that you have to be accountable for your actions and decisions is crucial.  Spoon-feeding is in the past.  As the University says in its promotional material, we are providing OPPORTUNITIES!  So much is offered on this campus and so few students really grab the brass ring.
Be persistent.  That is, when whatever you're reading or trying to complete (like a problem set), don't give up the minute it seems like it doesn't make sense.  Try it again.   Maintain the attitude that it WILL make sense if you keep at it.
Participate in class discussions.
Students frequently underestimate the amount of time they will need to commit to research.  Even the Works Cited page can take much longer than anticipated to complete.
-UW Reference & Libraries
Learn to write coherently, and utilize the University library for material.  Don't access a bunch of web sites!
Go to class prepared to participate (either through discussion, note taking, whatever the class demands).  I don't think going to class for the purpose of sleeping, reading the BI, or studying for another class is particularly valuable for anyone.
The most important skills freshmen can have are knowing how to write WELL. Because it requires them to know how to read critically, organize themselves, meet a deadline, and apply themselves to a task that is not necessarily pleasant.
-Molecular Biology
Understand what studying is and the time and commitment involved to succeed in university courses.
-Zoology & Physiology

I am always shocked at the number of students who fail to take notes in class and even more shocked when these same students stop by my office and explain to me that they are surprised they are not doing as well as they had hoped in a class.


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