College Survival Guide

By: Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter

Starting a new term can be a stressful time for any student. There are a lot of tech­nical details to take care of before you ever sit in a classroom, and once a student does get their foot in the door, class work can be daunting.

Fortunately, there are a few simple things to remember that can make life much easier. The Chronicle asked some students and fac­ulty what has made their experience at CNM go more smoothly.

Get It Done Early

Part of surviving college is learning to navigate the system. Computer Information Systems major Chris Hubbard said he did what many other students do and waited until the last minute.

He said he encoun­tered some problems during the registration process that would have been easier to deal with if he had given himself more time. College students are notorious procrastinators, but things can be made much easier by taking a few simple steps.

“I registered for all my classes on the morn­ing that registration started,” said second year student Michelle Sandoval. “There were some problems with my financial aid, but luckily I had enough time where I was able to take care of it.”

Whether it is reg­istering for classes, buying books or making sure financial aid is all squared away, being pro­active will save students stress and frustration.

Learn To Ask Questions

Associate Director of Academic Advisement Yolanda Pacheco said the second secret to col­lege survival is admit­ting what you do not know and asking.

“Learn to ask ques­tions, listen closely and write down important information. If you don’t understand some­thing, say so. Our goal is to help you understand,” she said.

Time Management and Organization are Key

One of the biggest challenges many stu­dents face when start­ing college is learning organization and time management. Paralegal Studies major Brooke Gehring said she has mastered this part of college survival with free computer and phone applications that help her stay on top of what needs to be done.

“Keeping everything organized makes my life so much easier,” she said. “There are a ton of free apps that’ll help you manage your time and remember what you need to do.”

One app she uses is called My Homework, a free Apple app that works like an assignment book.

She said that taking good notes in class and organizing them saves time for her when she is studying.

This does not encompass everything to surviving every pitfall and challenge of college life, but it should point students in the right direction. The Chronicle wishes everyone a fun and successful year.

Test Taking Tips

Dump the hard stuff

As soon as the test is passed out, it helps to turn to a blank page and write down any important formulas, dates, names, lists, or any facts that are likely to be covered. Once that is done, it is easier to relax and focus on the rest of the exam.

Skip what you do not know

It is a waste of time to stay on a question a student does not know the answer to. It is better to skip the question and come back to it later.

Do not second-guess yourself

When a student has studied and paid attention in class, he or she should learn to trust themselves. The first thing that comes to their mind is usually the best bet.

Do the most important parts first

If the multiple choice section is worth 20 percent and the essay at the end is worth 80 percent, it is best to do the essay first. If someone aces the first section but never gets to the essay, they will still get a bad grade. It is best to get the long, daunting sections out of the way first, and the rest should be a breeze.


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