Kick high school study habits to the curb Tuesday, Oct 5 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

As first-year students transition into college, a lot of students have to learn how to get rid of old study habits from high school. 

Why do so many freshmen start off their first college semester on a low note?

The answer is simple: High school teachers generally don’t require the same level of attention to academics as college professors.

Valerie Strauss, a writer for The Washington Post, wrote that the reason first-year students often struggle upon transitioning into college is that they aren’t familiar with the importance of studying.

Strauss suggests that a big problem with first-year college students’ studying habits is that they don’t know how to approach studying correctly. Where a student might benefit from quizzing themself over the material or questioning the material they read, they might instead only read a chapter out of a textbook or skim through notes.

Another reason students might not utilize the strategies that they need to do well?

Inadequate feelings of “belonging” in college, according to Strauss.

She said that feeling outcast can be a tell that a student is struggling in their first year at college.

“Feeling out of place is usually triggered by a setback freshman year: the student fails a test, for example, or feels he doesn’t have any close friends. Any student would be discouraged, but a student who is the first in his family to attend college, or is a member of minority stereotyped as “not academic” may construe the experience as evidence he’s not college material.”

Geoff Bailey, Executive Director of U of L’s REACH and Testing Services, said that first-year students struggle with adjusting to college study habits for a multitude of reasons.

First, like most of us, first-year students have gotten into certain habits that may have worked in the past (or that they’re simply comfortable with even if they are not the most effective),” said Bailey.

“When they find that a study habit isn’t working as well for a particular class at UofL (e.g., they’re not understanding concepts thoroughly, they’re not earning test scores they want, or they’re having trouble retaining information and recalling it accurately for class or tests), students have to choose whether to keep trying the same approach or be open to new possibilities that will create less stress and improve performance.

“Second, students may know they need to try something different but aren’t necessarily sure where to begin. Third, students sometimes assume that if a strategy works for one class, it should work for all classes. However, the reality is that different courses require different levels of thinking and application.”

Poor study habits can contribute to poor academic performance. First-year students should establish good study habits when they enter college so that they can start their first semester successfully.

Freshmen Madison Oser and Emily Sutter have had differing experiences regarding their own study habits.

Oser, a music therapy major, said that her major doesn’t require her to change many of her study habits from high school. She said that most of the time she could study for tests by reading her notes before class or making flashcards.

On the other hand, Sutter, a social work major, said that her go-to study method is also using flashcards because she believes that it helps her to retain information. She also said that once she got to college, she had to learn to adapt to a fast-paced environment.

U of L offers many resources for students of all grade levels who want to improve their study skills. Bailey recommends that students utilize REACH’s offerings such as tutoring, the Hackademic Workshop series, and academic coaching.

Graphic by Eli Hughes//The Louisville Cardinal

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Students embrace a return to normal on campus Thursday, Sep 9 2021 

By Alexia Juarez–

Incoming and current U of L students are starting out the fall semester with in-person classes and activities. This is the first step in returning to a “normal” campus atmosphere since the outbreak over a year ago. 

To support this atmosphere, U of L has laid out several protocols to contain the widespread virus and keep students and university members safe.  

Since Aug. 9, all university members have been required to wear a mask in public and indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. 

Indoor spaces are defined as any space inside a campus building which is not a private room or office. This includes classrooms, academic labs, study, and restroom areas, along with libraries and hallways. This is understandable, due to the rising cases in Kentucky. 

According to the New York Times, Jefferson County’s 7-day average was about 479 cases per day from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. Given Louisville’s population, it is imperative that students and faculty enforce this policy to contain the virus and return to campus life.  

Unvaccinated university members are required to be tested regularly. There are three required testing periods: Aug. 17 to 27, Sept. 7 to 17, and Oct. 6 to 15.  

This is a big step that U of L has taken in their return to normal — or as normal as it can be. Given that the pandemic has gone on for more than a year and a half, several students had not been on campus since the start of the outbreak. 

Given these announcements, it’s nice to have some hope for incoming and current students to enjoy campus life while balancing the unpredictability of the pandemic. It’s not only a silver lining for students, but for faculty as well. 

Professors will no longer have to struggle in online lectures for the desired student engagement –which is lacking in all online courses — or with the unbearable technical difficulties. These in-person classes bring back the socialization that some may have lost during this pandemic.   

For incoming freshmen, this may seem overwhelming. However, with the end goal in mind — to keep our U of L community safe and to have a normal in person education experience as much as possible — these protocols are the key to keeping the virus under control and ensuring students get the most out of their college experience.  

 

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Incoming freshmen: Here’s how to prep for you first college semester Wednesday, Mar 31 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Many prospective students will be receiving their acceptance letter from the University of Louisville soon. And while the college experience during the COVID-19 pandemic might look slightly different than your high school experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the best out of your college experience.

 

Come prepared.

Read the syllabus before the beginning of the semester to know what your professor expects from you.

In fall 2021, U of L will offer face-to-face and 100% distance education class options. Although classes will be marked as either 100% digital or face-to-face, professors can incorporate hybrid elements to their class. Ensure that the class meets in a way that you feel comfortable.

If you plan to live on-campus, make sure your housing situation allows you to be as safe as possible while being considerate of others. Bring plenty of masks with you and sanitize surfaces in your room often. If you live with a roommate, give them plenty of space within the room. If this makes you uncomfortable, consider living at home for at least one semester.

Have a contingency plan just in case you or someone you came into contact with catches the virus. Meet with other students in your classes virtually who can help you make up assignments or give you class notes.

 

Budget your money well.

As a college student, you’re going to be faced with several choices throughout your college career. For some of us, budgeting is a bigger issue during the pandemic. 

Don’t just buy all of your textbooks before the school year starts. The best tip to avoid breaking the bank is to wait until you get through your first week of classes to start purchasing textbooks. Give yourself time so that you can determine how serious the professor is about using the assigned reading.

Along the same vein–don’t purchase your textbooks from the bookstore unless you can’t find cheaper alternatives. Take time to shop around for an online version or rental copy of your textbook. Use the book’s ISBN to search on Amazon and Chegg for cheaper versions. The ISBN is located on the back near the barcode or within the first few pages of the book, it should start with the numbers 978 and be 13 digits long.

Take advantage of student discounts. Once you have access to your U of L email account, you have access to student discounts on many platforms including Amazon Prime, Spotify and Apple Music to name just a few.

Students also get all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud products for free, as well as, free visits to the Speed Art Museum (located on campus), and free TARC fare. The TARC, or the Transit Authority of the River City, is Louisville’s public bus transport system and can get you anywhere in the city.

These discounts could end up being life savers when you need textbooks shipped or don’t feel comfortable shopping in-person. Student’s Cardinal Card and email address offer great opportunities for students to cope with stress and take their mind off of things at any point during the semester.

 

Give yourself time to breathe.

Don’t schedule classes so close together. Give yourself time to travel between classes. If your class schedule requires you to travel to the other side of campus in just 10 minutes, you might be scheduling your classes incorrectly. Keep travel time in mind and make sure you have at least 15 minutes between the end of one class to the start of another. You never know when a professor might hold you later than expected.

If you attend all of your classes online, you might want to avoid scheduling classes so close together, too. With classes so close together, you could end up with burnout from Zoom fatigue and become overwhelmed from the constant meetings. Take at least 15 minutes to yourself between online classes at minimum.

The past three semesters have been unconventional. You probably didn’t expect your college experience to be so abnormal.

The college experience is supposed to include in-person classes and learning with their fellow peers about topics that they want to potentially dedicate their lives to,” said Abby Huether, a writer for Colorado State University’s features magazine College Avenue.

“But due to COVID-19, college students this semester were forced to make a choice between either continuing their education, which might mean potentially lower-value classes, all while paying the same tuition, or taking a semester off, leaving many students floundering with no idea of what to do with their life,” Huether said.

We all need to take a breather once in a while.

 

Most important of all–keep yourself healthy.

If you plan to take face-to-face classes, remember to keep your mask over your mouth and nose at all times and stay socially distanced from others.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, recommends that all students wear a mask, wipe down surfaces that they touch, and wash their hands after leaving every class.

Be in tune with your mental wellbeing, as well. When you start to feel overwhelmed, look for ways to cope with this stress. The university’s Counseling Center offers a helpful toolkit for students to follow with tips and resources.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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