Preparing for College:
- What kind of computer should I get?
- How do I select classes?
- What is essential to bring/get as a college student?
Your First-Year at AU:
- What do the residence hall rooms look like?
- Should I commute or reside in the residence halls?
- What is general education?
- There are a bunch of courses called IDS. What does IDS stand for?
- How should I pick a major?
Once You Arrive on Campus:
- I came to AU to play a sport. What else should I consider?
- How do I get my ID? I lost it, okay?
- Where do I go with questions?
- There’s so much drama in my life. I never expected all this stress. What should I do?
- I’m struggling in my algebra (or history or English) class. What can I do?
- I’m not sleeping like I used to. What should I do?
- Let’s face it. I’m a bad test-taker. So, now what?
Preparing for College
“You should definitely get one you can afford. But, if you want the most practical set-up, and you are willing to spend a little bit more money, a laptop is definitely that way to go since you can carry your work with you wherever you go.”
~ Chris, junior
“A laptop would be best so you could take it to study wherever on campus. However, you do not need one. I am a sophomore and as of right now, still do not have one. The computer labs are always available to use and it costs nothing to print and I take full advantage of that.”
~ Mary, sophomore
“If you have the funds for a new computer, your best bet would be to invest in a laptop. Laptops are convenient because you can take them with you if you want to work outside of your dorm room. The library has wireless Internet access, and The Spot [restaurant on campus] has Ethernet ports to connect to the Internet. If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, invest in a desktop. Even though you cannot bring your desktop around with you, you can save your work to a CD or a flash drive, and pull up your work on a computer in the labs or library. If you do not have the funds for a laptop or desktop, there are computers in the library and in the labs in Dunham, however those areas do get a little crowded around midterms and finals.”
~ Suzee, senior
“You will have a faculty advisor who is there to help you make your class schedule. I would recommend that prior to your advising appointment you look at the undergraduate course catalog and see what classes most interest you. Also know what classes your degree requires you to take so you can plan on when you will be taking some of those. Being prepared prior to your advising appointment will be more beneficial for you because you will be interested in the classes you are signing up for and know that you are fulfilling your graduation requirements as well.”
“Choose classes which are of interest to you but also fulfill general education requirements so that if you switch majors those first-year classes will still count towards the major or minor.”
“I would invest in an accordion type folder if not two. One could be for classes. I'm talking about putting your syllabi, handouts, and/or assignments…that way you will not have 8 different folders to keep track of. You have one folder and one spiral for each class. If you do buy a second one, use it for more of the financial papers…maybe your W-2's, financial aid papers, scholarship forms, etc. Get a clip on lamp for your bed…that way you know you'll have enough light to read your books by at about 3 a.m. Paper clips and thumbtacks are essential! If you're looking for more dorm tips, get a rug or two, a mirror, an iron and ironing board, a foot locker. It's more common sense, so just make a list of things you need.”
Your First-Year at AU
“Compared to many other college and universities, the size of the dorm is actually quite large. Another aspect is that the furniture is movable and can be situated to you and your roommate’s preferences.”
~ Marissa, sophomore
“In my opinion, the rooms at AU are definitely come of the nicer ones that I have seen, and I have been in the residence halls at many schools. Each person gets a bed, desk, dresser, chair, and closet to keep all your stuff in, and every building has a vending area where you can buy snacks if you get hungry at 3 a.m. The best way to know what the rooms look like is come see them for yourself by scheduling a tour. (Just give that Admissions Representative of yours a call and ask them about it.)”
“My hometown is 7 minutes away in Oswego. I dorm. You meet more people, are closer to resources on campus, and can participate in clubs and events thrown by APB [Activities Programming Board] more often. I wouldn’t commute even if I could change it all over again.”
“Being someone who only lives 30 minutes from home I had that option and I chose to live on campus for several reasons. One, I wanted the opportunity to become more independent. Two, I found it was more convenient for not only getting to classes but for athletic practices and group projects. I never have to rush to class because everything is accessible right on campus, including the fitness center, weight room, library, and all faculty offices. Overall, living on campus simplifies my lifestyle. If these things aren’t important to you, then living off campus might be a better option for you.”
~ Stephanie, sophomore
“It is a really good experience to live in the dorms. But, you have to keep in mind what kind of person you are. You are most likely going to be sharing a room with someone and learning to deal with everyone else on the floor. Being on campus is a way to make friends, because there are lots of people right there. You can also meet lots of people if you are commuting. But, it just might take more effort on your part if you are commuting, to get involved in activities.”
~ Sara, sophomore
“General education is a set of classes that everybody is required to take in order to round out your education. These classes teach you skills like writing, critical thinking, and communicating your ideas more effectively. Think of them as a supplement to your major. They teach you the skills that you will need in order to succeed in completing your major.”
“General education is the education that is required for all Aurora University students to graduate.”
~ Katie, sophomore
“Courses necessary to graduate outside your major.”
“Interdisciplinary studies. Or, in short, [two are] Culture, Diversity and Expression and Wellness and Social Responsibility. These classes are writing-intensive courses.”
“Pick something you like. If you already have one in mind, great! If not, then just take a lot of General Education classes in a wide variety of subjects and see if any of them appeal to you. It is ok to be undecided because chances are good that you will eventually figure it out.”
“Don’t worry about whether or not you know what you want to do 5, 10, 15 yrs down the road. Even those people who say they know, come to find out they really don’t. I think that sometimes it is best to go into college with an open mind and begin by studying a few things you are interested in and then go with what you like the best and can do well in. Same goes for those who think they know what they want to do – keep an open mind. There is nothing wrong with changing your mind and going in a different direction. It will be better for you in the long run.”
Once You Arrive on Campus
“What you should realize is the sport you're playing is not the most important thing right now although it may seem that way. College is about many different things with education being the most important. Do well in classes and get involved in some other student activities.”
~ Dani, first-year student
“Even if you are involved in a sport at AU, you will still have down time either in your off season or during the season. I would suggest looking into getting a job on campus or getting involved in the different events that go on like ice cream socials, trips to the malls, outings to Chicago, etc.”
~ Jen, junior
“Ask Campus Safety if anyone turned it in by chance, but otherwise you have to go to student accounts immediately to replace it for $25. Any ID that is lost, stolen, or damaged must be reported and replaced immediately.”
~ Adam, sophomore
“There's many people you can go to with questions. The First Year Academic Advisor, your academic advisor or peer advisor, and if you live in the dorms – your resident assistant (RA).”
~ Sara, sophomore
“Any questions you have concerning living arrangements, loans, jobs, or activities can be answered by several different people. My first suggestion would be to see the First Year Academic Advisor …she will usually be able to answer any questions or will surely be able to point you in the right direction to find the answer. Another good person would be your Advisor…Peer Advisor, or an RA [resident assistant].”
“There is going to be stress. Everyone goes through a period where they question if this [college] is the thing for them to be doing. But, no matter what happens at home with family, girlfriends/boyfriends, classes, homework, and sports, it will get better even if it does not seem like it will. Don’t keep all your feelings bottled up – talk to a friend, a teacher, the counselor. There are so many people here that are more than willing to help you out. And, they want you to succeed as much as you want to.”
~Todd, first-year student
“Adjusting to college can be a stressful thing. The best thing to do is to talk to somebody about it. Again, try your Peer Advisor, or your Resident Assistant. Both of these people are well equipped to help you deal with the stresses of college life.”
~ Chris, junior
“Talk to someone! There are plenty of people that are willing to listen and try to help you in any way they can.”
~ Marissa, sophomore
“If you are struggling in any class, the first thing you should do is talk to your professor, because believe it or not, your professors do care. Either chatting with them after class or scheduling an appointment with them outside of class, they will give you guidance. They may help you themselves or advise you to make an appointment in the Center for Teaching and Learning (a free tutoring program). Along with these options, you could also find a friend in the class or form a study group. The last thing you should do is just drop a course or skip classes you don’t understand. Remember, someone is always willing to help as long as you ask. Don’t be afraid to ask.”
“Talk to the professor! If you express that you really want help they will help. If not, it looks more like laziness. Also, go to the Center for Teaching and Learning."
~ Dani, first-year student
“It’s very hard to get the right amount of sleep, but you have to try to get onto a schedule and stick to it – easier said than done. Now you don’t have someone telling you that you can’t do things. Instead, you have friends all around you that you can hang out with until 5 in the morning if you like, which I do not recommend, you can do what you want when you want. You have more freedom now than you ever had, and if you want a slurpee at 3 in the morning you can go get one. But realize that losing sleep will catch up with you, and make things very difficult.”
~ Todd, first-year student
“A good planned schedule is often necessary to succeed in college. With classes as sporadically as they have ever been in your life, it can be tough to budget classes, homework, work, meals, and social times all in the same day. The best thing to do is go about your first week as best as you can. After you know what your week will look like, plan out times for naps, meals, friends, and work for the rest of the semester. Also, an on campus job works around your schedule and not you around theirs. That is usually a big payoff.”
~ Adam, sophomore
“I have always had trouble when it comes to tests because I get severe anxiety and bad stomach aches. My solution to the problem is to work really hard on the homework and attend class so that you know at least you will get full credit on those two areas to fall back on if your tests aren't doing so well. To do better on the tests, I make appointments at the Center for Teaching & Learning to go over the material so I feel confident with it. Then, I re-read the chapters and go over the notes. I have others quiz me, and I give myself at least a good week to study for the test so I don't go into extra-panic mode when the test rolls around.”
“It’s okay to be a bad test taker. Now you just need to work on becoming a better test taker, it is a skill that can be learned with practice. Set up tutoring sessions in the Center for Teaching & Learning, or study with a group of classmates. You could also talk to your professor and ask them how you can better prepare for their tests.”
~ Chris, junior