Everyone has a challenge – and everyone needs help sometimes. Know that there are people here to help you and plenty of programs and workshops to support you. Whatever problem or concern you may have, know you are not the only one! Don’t know where to go? Your academic advisor, your RA (if you live on campus) or your SLS instructor can help you find the right place to go. Don’t wait until the problem becomes overwhelming!
You may face the following challenge(s) while at FAU:
My study skills or ability to do the coursework: As mentioned before, over half of students in college today indicate that university studying is much more demanding than high school, so it is no surprise that you are concerned. Please know that there are many resources available to help you – from tutoring (www.fau.edu/tutoring), to workshops (www.fau.edu/success) to helpful staff (www.fau.edu/uas; http://wise.fau.edu/uas/faas_survivaltips.php).
Time management: Students who were most successful in college indicate that effective time management was one of the biggest contributors to their success. Your first step in time management should be to get a daily planner or calendar and write down ALL assignments, exams, appointments, etc. If you need help managing your time, there are workshops (www.fau.edu/success) or counselors available to help you develop time management strategies (www.fau.edu/counseling ).
Feeling part of the FAU Community: Your sense of belonging is very important! Research shows that feeling part of your campus is one of the key predictors of your success in college. Find a way to connect – whether it is finding a job on campus (www.fau.edu/hr/Student_Employment/index.php), joining a club (http://www.fau.edu/sil), participating in campus recreation (www.fau.edu/campusrec/), attending FAU athletic events (http://fausports.collegesports.com/) or volunteering in the community (www.fau.edu/volunteer/).
Financial pressures can strongly impact your ability to fully connect and participate in your college experience. Whether you’re spending more time working to ease financial burdens than studying or you’re worrying about having enough money to buy books for your classes, seek help! Your first stop should be the Financial Aid Office, 2nd floor in the SU building (www.fau.edu/finaid).
Health Issues: It is difficult to focus on academics when you don’t feel well (or are worried about someone else who is sick) or you are distracted. Be sure to talk to your professors about any extraordinary circumstances you may be experiencing, and take advantage of the resources on campus that can provide the extra assistance and support you may need (Student Health – www.fau.edu/shs/, Office of Health and Wellness Education – www.fau.edu/wellness/, and the Counseling Center – www.fau.edu/counseling).
Personal Motivation: If you are determined to succeed, you will find a way to overcome nearly any obstacle. So how do you “get motivated”? That differs from person to person. Think about why you are here, why you want to stay and why you want to be successful. What will happen if you leave school? If you are having trouble staying motivated, talk with your academic advisor (SU 201; www.fau.edu/uas) or a counselor (SSB 229; www.fau.edu/counseling ). We are all here to help you!
Homesickness : Many students feel homesick at some point – even students who were most excited to move to campus. This is very normal, and both your RA and campus counselors are well prepared to help you adjust. You can talk to your RA or visit the Counseling Center in SSB 229 (www.fau.edu/counseling).
Staying focused : There are many things that cause students to lose focus – from stress to lack of interest. Effectively managing your time and eliminating distractions are your first steps to success. In class, sit in the front row where there are fewer distractions, and when studying, turn off your cell phone, IM or any other potential distraction.
Making friends: FAU offers a variety of opportunities to meet other students who are new to college – just like you! Take a chance – talk to the person next to you in class or go to a campus workshop or event. Also, joining a club is an easy way to meet people with shared interests. And don’t rush it – you won’t make lifelong friends overnight.
Seeking help: Everyone has problems and may need help or extra support at one time or another. The key is being able to determine when you are struggling (either with a particular class or in another aspect of your life) and asking for help. FAU has staff to help you with almost any problem you may face. Always know that your academic advisor or SLS instructor is here to help you. There isn’t much we can do if you don’t ask! Visit Freshman Advising in SU 201 or at www.fau.edu/uas.
If you are struggling academically, consider the following:
Speak to an Advisor . Advisors can give you practical advice on balancing your workload, getting through classes and succeeding at FAU. They are also an excellent source of information about resources on campus where you might be able to find additional assistance. Your advisor is located in SU room 201 and can be reached at email@example.com.
Seek Tutoring . Tutoring is a positive thing. Often having someone explain the information in a different way helps you grasp the concept. Be sure to get help before the academic damage is irreversible. The math department also offers free tutoring, and you can use the Writing Center to improve your writing assignments. For these and other tutoring resources, visit www.fau.edu/tutoring.
Visit the Professor. All instructors hold office hours. This is the time for you to get to know your instructor and ask for clarification if you don’t understand something from class. When you go, remember to be specific. If you go in and say “I just don’t understand,” the instructor may not be as able to provide the help you need.
Participate in Study Groups. Studying with classmates is great if your group stays focused on the task. “Two heads are better than one” – if there is something you don’t understand, perhaps a study partner can explain it or you can figure it out together. But remember to always allow some time to study alone to ensure that the material is really sinking in.