Certain courses suggested for first year success

For freshmen coming to the University for the first time, knowing where to start with the college experience can be difficult.

One part of the college experience that can be especially difficult is choosing what classes to take.

During their first semester at the University it is suggested that freshman take BG perspective, or “general education” classes, said Dermot Forde, the director in the office of advising services.

“We have quite a few undecided [majors], and even the students who have declared a major, some of them will change their minds, so they want to make sure what they’re taking is applicable to every major,” he said.

For students who have decided on a major, oftentimes it is recommended that they take an introduction class for their major, he said.

Mary Kay Inkrott, an academic adviser in advising services, said when recommending classes to students it varies with each person.

Inkrott said if the students are having trouble choosing from the list she will talk to students about the more popular classes chosen.

Some of the classes she sees chosen frequently by freshmen are weather and climate, popular culture, introduction to sociology and women’s studies.

Senior Kerri Gangwer suggested pop culture 1600 for freshman their first semester because it is an easy class.

“We watched a bunch of movies,” she said.

The advice Gangwer gives to freshman is to study more than they think they need to.

When it comes to classes freshman shouldn’t take, Forde said it depends student to student.

Forde said in order for students to graduate in four years it is recommended they take 14 to 16 credit hours each semester.

To be a successful student, being engaged in the learning process is important, Forde said.

“If they meet with their adviser, make friends in their hall, utilize the tutoring options and they actively participate in the education process they will do fine,” he said.

After their first week of classes Forde recommends that students have read through the syllabus for each class, and marked all exams, projects and other important dates.

“If they don’t read the syllabus I worry about them,” he said.

Inkrott said going to class and being organized are two important things to succeed in college.

“They need to get organized,” she said. “Whether it’s a binder or notebook for each class, have somewhere to keep papers and keep notes in one place.”

The number one thing Inkrott said students need to be able to do in college is manage their time well.

“If you can’t manage time you won’t be successful in college,” she said.

Some of the ways that Inkrott recommends managing time is using a planner or phone calendar to schedule in important dates and meetings.

Senior Alexandra Schmidt said one piece of advice she would give to freshmen is not to party as much as they may want to.

“All my friends partied all the time and flunked out,” she said.

Schmidt also said when looking for classes freshmen should try and take prerequisites so they don’t have to postpone taking important classes.