College has its ups and downs, let's be real. Here are some of the most nerve-racking college moments, and how to be successful in overcoming them!
1. Registering for Classes
Registration time is among us! Are you nervous? Do you know what classes you need to take? If not, make sure you make an appointment with your advisor! They need to clear you for registration in the first place. Furthermore, they can help you plan out your time at Wagner, so don't delay a meeting with them. Also, if you want to work more independently, print out the general education requirements form and see which classes you have taken, and which you should take. Depending on your major, make sure you check the department website. Use it to assure you are taking the right classes. On a more personal level, have upperclassmen guide you and give teacher recommendations. I know that I won't even take class with a professor if I haven't gotten some good feedback about them.
2. Declaring Your Major
Have you decided what you want to study? Yay, congratulations, I am proud of you! If you are unsure, visit the academics site to get a sense of what Wagner has to offer. If you are feeling nervous, speak to a professor from the department to gain insight on what you are signing up for. If you are interested in what the department has to offer, declare your major and/or minor by filling out the forms and submitting it to the department's secretary. They are all so kind, and it's so much easier than it seems. Also, if you let me know that you declared your major/minor, I will sing a happy song and speckle you with glitter.
3. Taking that One Class that Everyone Hates that is Required for Your Major
We all have that class, and it is unavoidable... but you must overcome! Take the class. Be positive. Speak to the professor and engage in the lessons and discussions. It will be less miserable if you make actual attempts at getting involved. One of the perks of being at Wagner is the small department sizes, so speak to the upperclassmen who have taken the class and take tips from them. Likewise, if it is required for your major, you will most likely learn some useful information and gain skills that will make you a better student.
AAAHHH! If you are anything like me, the prospect of networking is terrifying, and when people mention it around me, I typically roll off into the sunset to avoid the topic. However, networking is not as terrifying as I make it out to be. You just have to dress well, and be able to sell yourself. You know what you are good at, what you are passionate about, and your plans for the future. So use these ideas to show how great of a person you are. Also, the people who are at these networking events WANT students. They are on your team and will look for the best in you.
If you are still nervous, visit the Center for Academic and Career Engagement (which is one of the best offices on campus with the most awesome staff). Speak to Geoff Hempill or Barbara Bellesi about your resume, interview tips, and networking basics- I would not have gotten through any networking events without the help of Geoff and Barbara.
5. Going to Your Professor's Office Hours
I don't know why, but this is generally intimidating to students. Your professors specifically block out a few hours a week to be available to you if you have questions or concerns related to class, so take advantage of that! When I struggle with a class, I always go to my professor's office hours for clarity on the subject, and guidance on how to navigate the class, and I feel much more confident about the course. Also, this is time that your professor can get to know you better, and guide you through assignments on a 1:1 basis, instead of in class. When I give prospective students tours of Wagner, this is something I always emphasize to them: the significance of office hours. So if you are ever in need of help for a class, check out your syllabus for the professor's availability, and stop by! If your times are incompatible, send them an email and coordinate a meeting- most professors are more than willing to accommodate your schedule.