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From the College of Natural Sciences
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A marathon, not a sprint

A marathon, not a sprint

​Dear Students,

It's hard to believe that the first week of classes is already in the books. It's been wonderful to see the campus coming back to life. This time of year always makes me think about my first weeks in college. I remember them as being incredibly exciting, but also bewildering and stressful. If this time is feeling overly stressful to you, please remember that college is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't need to do everything right now. And, as I'll continue to remind you, help is available. You just need to ask.

​The truth is, my own start to college was a real struggle. I was always behind in my schoolwork. I felt like other students always understood the class material better than I did. At the end of the fall semester my GPA was so low that an advisor visited my dorm room to ask what was wrong.

What was wrong? I didn't realize that doing well in college was going to take a lot more effort than I was used to giving. I thought that the A students were just more talented than I was. Maybe they were, but they were also doing things I wasn't. I hadn't learned effective study skills and strategies. I didn't know how to take good notes. I hadn't set aside time every day for studying. I hadn't found a good place to study.

Lucky for me, my advisor connected me with an academic counselor who worked with me on these issues. She showed me how to take notes. She helped me plan a daily schedule that included time for schoolwork. She taught me effective strategies for learning and remembering material. I was skeptical that these techniques would make a difference. Nevertheless, in the spring I gave them a try and worked harder than I ever had. At the end of the spring semester, my GPA had improved dramatically, and I was incredibly proud of myself. From that point on I was an excellent student.

I share this because I know a lot of students struggle like I did. If you're one of them, know that you are not alone. And know that working on your strategies for learning and studying can make a huge difference. The Sanger Learning Center is a great place to get help with studying.

Dr. Drew

Joke: Why did the action potential cross the optic chiasm? To get to the other side.

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Saturday, 28 January 2023

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