Important tips to help survive the first few weeks of college

Date Posted: September 4, 2015

Stardate: 21513.1

Hello Student Body of 2015/2016!

In the case you haven’t taken a look at our student handbook for the 15/16 year, my name is Maryanne McGrath, and I’m your Students’ Association president from now until April 30.

I’d like to be one of many to welcome you to Red Deer College for the upcoming year. If this is your first year here, I promise you that the ‘lost and confused’ feeling of starting college will wear off after a couple of weeks. If you’re returning, I hope you’re coming back from summer break refreshed and ready for another year at RDC!

The first month of school can be an exciting and terrifying time. I first came to RDC in 2013, when I was 17 years old, fresh out of high school. I had never lived away from my hometown of Fort McMurray before; the first time I saw Red Deer College in person was the first day of classes.

There a few things I know now that I wish I knew on the first day of school, so here are some tips to help survive the first few weeks of classes:

• Take a screenshot of your class schedule from The Loop and set it as the lock screen of your phone or tablet. It’s easier than carrying a paper copy, and having it as the lock screen makes it super convenient to check when and where your next class is located. Also make sure you take a picture of your locker combination slip, so if you ever lose the paper, you’ve still got the combination with you.

• To prevent sleeping in during the first week of school, set your alarm as a song that you absolutely despise, as to make sure you wake up and turn it off. Anything by Justin Bieber tends to be particularly effective.

• Make sure you introduce yourself to your professors. Most of our classes are fairly small, and having an open line of communication with your prof will help if you find yourself needing to send them a panicked email for essay assistance or study tips around midterm and final exams.

• Go for a quick stroll around campus to orient yourself with the layout of the school — some renovations have been done over the summer, and if you’re a new student, it’ll help you feel a bit more comfortable in your bearings.

• Don’t be shy! Most students are in the same boat on the first day of classes, and are equally as nervous about walking into a class for the first time. We’re lucky to have a friendly, close-knit campus. Having a friend in your classes will (hopefully) motivate you to attend class, and help you stay on top of your studies.

• Pick up a 2015/2016 Student Handbook from the Students’ Association. Even if you don’t use physical day planners, there are some sweet coupons in the handbook that you can use on a haircut, pizza, oil change, or even a tattoo!

And finally, the best piece of advice I can give you is to get involved. This school will take you places, if you’re willing to go there. Opportunities such as running for a seat on Students’ Association Council, running for our vacant office of Students’ Association Vice President College Affairs, or getting involved in a student group or club will ensure you get the most out of your experience at Red Deer College.

As always, if you want to pop in for a chat about anything from Star Trek vs Star Wars to student leadership, feel free to come up to the Students’ Association office. We’re located right by the Train Station, on the second floor. I’m also always available through email at sardc-president(at) .

I look forward to having an absolutely phenomenal year with you all!


Article Author: Maryanne McGrath, SA President

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