One of the most critical transitions you will make as an incoming student at Loyola Chicago will involve your academics. Whether you attended a college preparatory high school, completed dual enrollment coursework, or started your college career elsewhere, students new to LUC share a universal experience of adjustment. Pay attention to the way this new setting is impacting your ability to perform to your academic potential.
Many students recognize early on that the way they studied in high school does not produce the same results in college. These resources and tips will help you to find an approach to see the results you want.
- Get a planner or scheduling device. Use the planner or scheduling device. Too much is at stake to risk forgetting a paper or confusing a quiz date.
- Know the expectations on academic integrity. As part of an academic community, you are held to high ethical standards in all of your work. While not knowing the policies is not an excuse, basic information is available here to help you understand these expectations.
- Write down all deadlines as soon as you get the syllabus. Do not rely on a reminder from a professor or classmate.
- Create your own study plan if you are in a class that lacks the structure of regular homework. It is up to you to determine whether or not you’re keeping up with the material, and yet this is one of the most difficult tasks of being a student. When do you know that you know the knowledge?
- Value the learning process. The ultimate goal is to learn, not necessarily to get an A. A good grade is likely to follow when you master the content.
- Choose the best study environment. Sure, reading on your bed might be comfortable, but it also might keep you from ever getting past the first paragraph without falling asleep. Meeting with a study group is great, but not if you’re meeting in your room when your roommate is trying to sleep. Invest some time exploring study spaces around campus and in your surrounding community. If you limit yourself to your room or the IC, you might be missing out on a location that suits you perfectly. Pro tip: students can reserve study rooms online for small group study.
- Determine how much time you will need to invest in each subject. Doing one problem set for math might take much longer for you than one problem set for chemistry. In your first weeks of the semester, make note of how long it takes you to do the work to the point that you grasp the content. The time you should set aside to read 20 pages for PHIL 130 may be different than the time you would need to read 20 pages for UCLR 100. Being able to pace yourself appropriately is a critical first step in determining the right study setting that will work for you.
- Ask questions. Professors are invaluable resources to help clarify anything that is confusing. With advanced planning, you can also utilize support available through the Writing Center, Library, Language Learning Resource Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, and the Center for Tutoring and Academic Excellence. Now, while there are numerous resources on campus to help you out, it is your responsibility to think critically when you have a question. Have you tried to figure out answers on your own first through consulting the syllabus, re-reading your notes or the text, and reading assignment descriptions carefully? Sometimes, the answer is readily available to you.
Most professors will expect you to spend as much time as it takes outside of the lecture to learn course material. Go through each of your classes and reflect on what changes you might need to implement in order to master the new content: devote more time? complete additional practice problems? utilize the Writing Center? find a new study location? visit office hours?