By Emma Bergmann, SCS Advising Leader
I can’t believe we are over halfway through the first semester! Time is flying by this year and it can be easy to get behind on reports or assignments as every class is in full swing. It can be easy to fall into a rhythm of doing just enough to get by, but not being proactive or thinking of upcoming weeks. To avoid a pileup of homework or that dreaded night-before-exam cram, I am going to be sharing some of the best ways to be a more dynamic student.
The most crucial piece of advice I can offer anyone is NOT WAITING until right before an exam to come to terms with your confusion about a topic. It may feel like everyone else understands when a lesson is taught in lecture, but I promise you that if you are confused, many others are too! Even if you are too nervous to voice your questions in lecture, there are so many resources available on campus. This university is full of faculty and students who want to help you; it is just a matter of taking those first strides to connect with them!
You may have received emails from them about your upcoming midterms. CARE provides formal tutoring sessions run by students who have taken your class recently. They do a brief review session, then allow you to work on a worksheet covering content for the exam. There is a virtual queue that you enter to ask questions. From my experiences, these have been great opportunities to ask questions to the leaders as well as your peers and to foster collaboration and clarification of any troubling topics.
For any students in chemical or biomolecular engineering, Shell sponsors an informal tutoring session for ChBE 221, 321, and 421. Though I have not yet attended the 221 option, I plan to soon as I have heard good things about it. These integral courses are so important to the foundation of an engineering degree, so getting extra assistance is greatly encouraged.
Many of my classes (physics and differential equations) use Campuswire as our class forum. I have found it to be tremendously helpful as a way to not only ask questions about homework or practice exams, but also see what other students are asking about. Sometimes I am confused about something but cannot articulate it, or didn’t even realize I was confused yet! Usually, my professors or a TA respond within the day, or if not, other students are quick to help out as well.
- Chemical Engineering Room (3rd Floor Noyes Lab)
Though this is only accessible to chemical engineering students, it is still worth mentioning. This room requires an I card to swipe in, but it is an excellent place to do work or print reports. The printing is free which is awesome, and I usually see fellow second year students when I am there, making it a great place to chat about classes or exams, or collaborate on projects or reports.
As you can see from this list, there are so many ways, whether you prefer in person or virtual, to get help from experts in the department. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows you want to learn and understand, rather than just memorize information before a midterm. Making the most of these opportunities and learning proactively throughout the semester will make you a more confident, well-prepared version of yourself when that exam or presentation rolls around.