As we wave goodbye to our memories of beaches, pools and barbecues and say hello to our new paradise we like to call JMU, coming back to school can almost feel as if you never left. Or for others that 3-month break has left you completely lost as to how to be a student again. If you’re in that boat I can provide some tips to start your year off right!

Here’s how:

IMG_27421. Stay Organized

Have a different notebook and folder for every class and color-code them! It will be so much easier to find your class folder by just recognizing its color in your jam-packed backpack. Having a planner is also essential and it doesn’t have to be just assignments in there, add your fun after class plans too! Put the date at the top of each paper and section of notes, this way you will be able to keep track of the order of the material you’re learning.

2. Create Good Student-Professor RelationshipsIMG_2776

Office hours are there for a reason; your professors want to help you succeed. When you have questions ask them; there is nothing worse than getting points off an assignment for a simple error that could have been fixed if you just raised your hand. And do not forget to respect them; they are here for you, giving you their time, attention and knowledge, so make sure you do the same. And remember they are regular people too, try to start up conversations to get to know them better.

IMG_27513. Use JMU’s Resources

Our school has so much to offer us. The Student Success Center is an awesome place to start! This is a one-stop-shop for the Learning Center, Financial Aid Office, Health Center and the ever popular Card Services. The SSC provides students with these services, plus many more. And you can’t forget ECL and Carrier; stocked with study spots, books and Starbucks for those early mornings and late nights. Not to mention the other 20+ other places to grab a bite to eat on campus.

4. Be respectful to your JMU communityIMG_2775

JMU is an amazing place and we need to do our part to keep it that way. Keep holding doors for people, say hello to faculty and staff while you’re walking around campus and do your part to keep our beautiful campus clean. Keep our long lasting JMU traditions going. It’s the little things we can do that will make a big difference.

IMG_2745

5. Lastly… Have Fun!

JMU has an over abundance of activities, clubs and organizations to get involved in. Be sure to take trips with your friends off campus too; Harrisonburg has delicious food, downtown events and who doesn’t want to take a trip to the puppy farm and play with golden retrievers? Most of us are only here for 4 years so make the best of it because before you know it you’re like me — a senior who just finished her last, first week of college.

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