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12 Questions Answered About On-Campus College Life
Going to college and earning a diploma is a lifelong dream for many. Arriving on campus to begin this phase of young adulthood is an amazing milestone, with many opportunities to enjoy college life. However, you may have some uncertainties at first. Here are answers to 12 common questions about campus life.
1. How can I be successful in my classes?
The most important thing to do first is make sure you take the right classes needed for your major. Then review all the course materials to be sure you understand what is expected. If it appears that you may experience problems with a class, talk to your academic adviser to see if you must take the course, and if so, what resources are available to help you through it. Keep up with your course assignments, and don’t fall behind.
2. What if I start to fail a course?
Talk to the instructor to see what you can do to catch up or improve your coursework. If it appears that you will likely fail the course, find out if you can withdraw from it to keep a failing grade off your academic record. However, this may impact your financial aid award if you have one.
3. Can I add or drop classes after the semester starts?
Typically you can change your course schedule for the first week or two of the semester. Each campus follows an academic schedule that indicates the last day to add or drop a course. Consult your academic adviser for details.
4. Who should I talk to about noisy students in my residence hall?
Inform the Resident Hall Assistant or the person in charge of your dormitory floor, or the entire building. There is also usually a dormitory life manager you can consult if the problem is serious or continues. Sometimes just asking the students to keep the noise level down will help.
5. How can I meet people socially?
There are many types of social activities on campus, from exhibits to clubs and media performances. Check the daily or weekly campus schedule that is regularly distributed to students to find out what is coming up and how to attend if tickets are required. Many free events take place for students, including presentations, where you can meet other students and get involved if you like.
6. What’s the best way to eat healthy on campus?
If you live on campus, select balanced meal options at the cafeteria. Choose items from all five food groups: healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein, unless you avoid any of those groups for various reasons.
7. Where can I get medical help on campus?
There may be an infirmary or student health center on campus. Ask the residence hall assistant or an instructor if you need to help.
8. Can my parents or other people check my grades if I’m under the age of 18?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates access to student records, even if you are not yet eighteen. You must give signed consent or be present with a parent, for example, to permit someone to view your records or discuss your college performance.
9. What can I do if a student is harassing me?
Depending on where this happens, you can 1) inform the instructor, 2) tell the residence hall manager, or 3) contact the campus police or security office. You can also consult your academic adviser for assistance.
10. Am I required to participate in extracurricular activities?
No. But you may want to meet other students, and joining professional groups, like Future Teachers of America, can boost your resume.
11. Who do I talk to about changing my major field of study?
Your academic adviser can help you switch to another major. The adviser can explain which courses you’ve already taken will apply to the new major as well as the additional classes you will need to take.
12. How can I apply for financial aid?
Contact the campus Financial Aid office. They will explain the application process in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which matches your eligibility to available grants and loans. The FAFSA, if awarded, must be renewed each year to continue receiving financial aid.
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