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College is a significant transitional period in a person’s life. Even with advice from friends and family, it still might not be enough. That is why I have compiled a list of tips for incoming Muleriders, to help navigate the unique college experience specifically at Southern Arkansas University!

1. ) Get Involved on Campus

Getting involved on campus is a vital college freshman tip. When you get involved on campus, it looks great on your resume and shows that you know how to manage your time. It allows you to create professional relationships with staff members, which can give you an advantage with letters of recommendation and other future opportunities once you graduate. Being involved with at least one organization gives you the chance to improve your resume and create on-campus friends.

2.) Sign up for a Credit Card

College is the perfect time to start building your credit score. Start small and make purchases that you know you will be able to pay off when your credit card bill is mailed to you, like gas for your car. A good credit score makes it easier to receive loans to make big purchases when the time comes.

3.) If You Have Problems with Your Roommate, Talk to Them

When you live in a small area with another person, it is perfectly normal for disagreements and issues to arise. It is essential, to be honest with your roommate when you have a problem with them because most of the time, people are willing to listen and fix the issue. It will also save you from having a huge fight with your roommate or having to move out it the problem continued.

4.) Using the Academic Enrichment Center or SI Sessions Does Not Make You Look  Unintelligent

I think many people would argue that using the academic enrichment center and SI (supplemental instruction) sessions makes you look intelligent. There is no shame in asking for help in classes when you do not understand the material or want to get ahead. Statistics from SAU have shown that students usually have higher grades when they utilize these resources, and having a higher GPA is always a good thing.

5.) Be Smart with How You Take Notes

Do not try to copy down every word the professor says. This takes up more of your time, and you will likely fall behind in the lecture and miss part of what the professor says. Instead, write down keywords and information, and use abbreviations when you can. What is important is that you understand your notes, and absorb as much information as you can.

6.) Be Organized and Buy a Planner

I have always referred to planners as the #1 college essential. Planners will save your life, and you will be beyond thankful that you have one when you start utilizing it. They help you keep track of everything you have to accomplish in one day and give you a preview of what your week looks like when organized correctly. Planners are vital to improving time management and organizational skills and will, therefore, prepare you for life both inside and outside of college.

For many people, college is a very positive experience and some of the best years of their life. The tips I have suggested will enrich your overall college experience and make your time in college much more productive and fun.

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