Guidelines for scholastic success

Last Wednesday, after my 12 P.M. class, I grabbed the Register and began to read. As I read through my favorite sections, the Word and the Scene, I noticed there were several stories and features regarding Freshman do’s and don’ts. I noticed that throughout the features, though very amusing and very true, there was nothing regarding freshman do’s and dont’s as far as classes, dorm life, etc. So I decided to go over a few things that I’ve experienced in my years at A&T that may benefit new students.

The first thing freshmen should know is to not rely on A&T to make sure your classes and financial aid are together. A&T will not do anything for you on time except charge you outrageous fees, drop your classes, and send mail reminding you that tuition is due. It is necessary that you stay on top of all your business regarding A&T because if you do not, they will have you here longer than you are willing to pay for.

Second, stay on top of your advisors and always seek second opinions. While some of the advisors at A&T are God’s Gift to college students, many of the advisors can’t tell you the difference between sugar and salt. In some cases, advisors, those here to help you stay on track, are the sole reasons some students are here for more than four years. Stay close to your teachers, talk to other advisors in your department, and pay attention to your major curriculum. It helps to have a guide that shows you what classes you need to take rather than an advisor who can’t tell you where the nearest bathroom is.

Next, do not, I repeat, do not drop classes. Unless it is absolutely positively necessary that you drop a class, try your best to stay on top of your schoolwork. While dropping classes seems like a great idea at the time, those classes and those missing credits always come back to haunt you right when it’s time to graduate. Dropping classes will keep you here forever so don’t drop them, which leads me to my next point.

When you drop classes, those credits still count toward your attempted hours here at A&T. Unfortunately, if you go over 140 attempted hours, you are hit with a surcharge when you least expect it which is 50% of your total tuition. While it may not be so bad for in state students, it can be a real pain for out of state students when it’s time to graduate and you have a remaining balance of over $3000. Don’t drop classes so you won’t become a professional student!

Also, if you can afford it, take summer classes. Summer classes are easy, allow you to focus on the material, and can boost your GPA. Summer classes can also be of use if you struggle during the fall and spring semesters. Summer classes can be the difference between being here for four years and 6 or more.

Furthermore, be a good roommate. The best way to fall out with roommates is not being clean and not having respect for others’ property, space, and learning environment. You can meet amazing people in college but you have to go about it the right way. Keep common areas clean, don’t play your music disrespectfully loud, and keep your hands to your stuff.

Last but not least, enjoy yourself in college. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Network as much as you can because it will provide you with way more opportunities than just being a “straight A” student. Know your chairpersons, deans, and professors. They have the power and connections to get you where you want to be. Most of all, do your work! After all, it is the reason you pay thousands of dollars to be here!

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  • Kamilah Blackston, Contributor