Iftikhar Khan is currently studying Electrical Engineering at the Grove School of Engineering in City College of New York. He emigrated from Bangladesh in 2012 and graduated with Advanced Regents Diploma from Hillcrest High School before starting his undergraduate education. As a reward of his dedication towards his studies and extra-curricular activities, Iftikhar was selected as a winner of the New Visions for Public Schools Scholarships, which is regarded as one of the most competitive scholarships in New York City. Besides completing a couple of internships, he was also a valuable member of his high school cricket team. Iftikhar hopes to become an electrical engineer and contribute to the technological advancement of his native country Bangladesh as well as United States.
This article is intended for all new college students out there. From my experience of being a college student, I shall share some of the techniques which a college student should apply in order to make the college journey smoother.
The “Syllabus” is your Holy Grail!
During the first week at college, each professor distributes the course syllabus. It contains all the detailed information regarding the course, important deadlines and test dates. In order to do well and stay organized around the semester, a college student should definitely go over the syllabuses of all the courses thoroughly, mark out all of the important deadlines and test dates and plot them on a calendar. This shall ensure that the student is well aware of the assignment deadlines and test dates so that he/she take preparation accordingly.
Your Professor is your key!
At college, your enjoyment of a course is heavily dependent upon the professor. Before choosing your professor, I strongly recommend doing some research about him or her. You may go to the department’s students’ advisors and speak to as many students as possible to see if they’ve heard information about the professor’s class. There is also a website entitled “Rate my Professor” where you can go and gain some basic ideas about the professor of your interest. During the first semester, some students might find the hurdle of selecting the right professor overwhelming. However, as they adapt themselves to the campus environment, build more friendships and meet new people, selecting the right professor becomes easier. A student should try to maintain a rich relationship with his/her professors. During the course of the semester it is a great idea to maintain a good communication with the professors through emails and by participating in the class enthusiastically.
Many college students find them at a state of loss when they are assigned with lengthy written assignments including essays and research papers. If you are one of them, take a deep breath and relax. It’s okay! Every college student has to go through this phenomenon. You are going to make it too! After receiving the assignment, the first thing you should do is understand the assignment properly and brainstorm the ideas you have in your mind and formulate a subtle plan to complete the assignment. I strongly recommend fixing an appointment with your professor and talk with him/her personally about your assignment. In that way, you shall know exactly what your professor is expecting from the assignment. In most of the cases, this brings out better results. The worst thing you can do with your lengthy assignments is waiting till the last moment to complete it. Finish it ahead of time. I repeat: finish it ahead of time. When you have your initial draft ready before submitting the final copy, meet your professor again and gain his/her feedback. You should also consider visiting the writing center of your university. The writing centers always turn out to be a great help when it comes to furnishing your long writing assignments.
Mingle with the right crowd!
While in college you will meet new people and make new friends. It is really important to choose the friends wisely. Always try to make resourceful friends who shall help you reach your academic goals and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s better to avoid such friends who turns out to be distraction in your course of studies. Make sure to branch out by meeting new people and expand your network. Remember, after graduating one of them might be the one who could help you land you that dream job. Utilize your time well by spending less time with social media and more time with books.
Last but not the least, make sure to enjoy your time out there. It’s the time of your life. Enjoy! Be resourceful! Acquire knowledge! Chase your dream and achieve it!