Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hey! It's (Almost) 2013!

So what do you want to do that's new and different next year?

Get better grades in your classes?

Find your dream major/career?

Join a club?

Make new friends?

Be better organized?

Anything's possible, of course.  It's a new year--a new start.

But change doesn't happen magically.  It's the product of effort and commitment and action--mostly yours!  It's one thing to talk about the need for change; it's another thing to go out and make something good happen.       

So as 2013 approaches, maybe it's time for some resolutions.

Like making it to all of your classes and keeping on top of assignments.

Or scheduling that appointment at the Career Center.

Or going to the Activities Fair on Feb. 5 and REALLY finding a club to join.

Or getting to the time management workshop on Feb. 12 and learning (once and for all) how to avoid being last minute.

Or........  Or........  Or..........

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Here Comes the Winterim!

It's quick.  It's intense.  It's fast-moving.  It's not exactly leisurely.   

But it's one of the best ways to earn credits and keep you on the path to graduation.

It's the Winterim session at NCC.  And it starts in just a few days--Tuesday, Dec. 26.

For those who don't know, the Winterim is a short session between the fall and spring semesters.  It offers you an opportunity to take a single course--no more than one--in roughly three weeks.  Winterim classes meet five days a week for (in most instances) three hours a day.  You can take a day class, which typically runs from 9 a.m.-12 noon, or an evening one, which usually meets from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

You can choose courses from a variety of departments--Math, Sociology, Business, History, Music, Criminal Justice, Health, Psychology, Marketing, Political Science, and several others.   

Why take a Winterim class? 

Several reasons: to earn elective credits, to fulfill a requirement, to tackle a course best taken by itself, or simply to get you one step closer to graduation. 

Whatever your reason, the Winterim can be a good deal.  But remember: these courses cover the same amount of material in three weeks as during the regular fifteen-week semester.  So be prepared to work!

This year's Winterim session begins on Wednesday, December 26 and runs through Tuesday, December 15.  There are no class meetings on December 31 and January 1, but classes meet on other weekdays during this time--thirteen times in all.  

For more about the Winterim, including registration info, visit the "Spring & Winter Courses 2013" link on the NCC homepage.  But be quick.  Winterim classes are just around the corner.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda . . .

"I should have gone to class more."

"I should have managed my time better."

"If I'd done the reading, I would have gotten a better grade."

"I should have cut back on work hours."

"I should have joined a club."

"I could have passed that exam--if I'd studied harder."

Sound familiar?  I encounter these words often (usually around the end of the term)--in essays, journals, class discussions, conversations, and pretty much anywhere else students open up about   their first semester in college. 

My response?  It may be too late to repair this semester, but remember your "Shoulda/Coulda/ Woulda" list for next time around. 

Very few students have perfect first semesters.  Even when most of it goes okay, there's often something they wish could have turned out better. 

Fortunately, there's always next semester: another chance to make things right!  But for that to happen, you need to be willing to look at (and learn from) your first semester here, especially those actions and decisions you wish you could take back.

So as you look ahead to the spring, ask yourself what you would like to be different.  Better class attendance, better study habits, better grades, less stress, a more interesting social life--all are possibilities.  If you haven't thought much about what you need to work on, maybe it's time to make that "Shoulda/Coulda/Woulda" list and use it to make next semester the best it can be. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

UW Alert!

If somewhere along the way this semester you stopped going to one (or more) of your classes, you could be headed for a disaster known as UW. 

What's UW? 

UW (Unofficial Withdrawal) is a new grade at Nassau, introduced this semester.  It's assigned when you stop attending a credit course but never officially withdraw.  The bad thing about a UW is that it counts as an F in your grade-point average, which means that receiving even one of these grades can mess up your semester big time.   

To avoid a UW, here's what you can do.

Go to the registrar's office (lower level of the Tower) and pick up a Drop/Add form.  When filling it out, make sure you include the number, CRN, and section of the course you're withdrawing from (you can find this info on your class schedule on the Banner system).   Then catch up with your professor and ask him or her to sign the Drop/Add.  Once you've gotten the signature, bring the form back to the registrar's office.  You'll then receive a grade of W (Official Withdrawal), which will at least keep your average from getting clobbered. 

A good solution?  Absolutely.  But remember that you have to do all this before the end of the semester.  That doesn't leave much time, especially since most professors aren't on campus every day.

So don't delay.  Get the Drop/Add and go talk to your professor.  Faculty aren't required to sign the form, but many will anyway--so it's definitely worth the effort.  Your transcript will thank you!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's Still Time

Skip this post if your grades are good, your classes are under control, and you haven't an academic care in the world!

But if that's not your situation--if you're stressing about grades, wondering if you're going to finish everything, or feeling like the walls are closing in--keep reading.

Three weeks (actually 19 days between now and the end of the semester) may not seem like much time, but you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it.

Start by listing everything you have to finish: papers, projects, journals, whatever.  Include upcoming exams, especially those requiring serious prep time.  Note due dates and test dates.

Put your regular "life" schedule on hold:  Tell friends you'll see them later in December (and mean it), cut back on work hours, and tell your family you REALLY need time to yourself over the next few weeks.

Focus on one task at a time.  Got a Communications paper due this Wednesday?  Write it today.  English journal or Marketing project due Friday?  Finish it tomorrow.  Statistics exam next Monday?  Start studying asap. 

Keep going.  Don't waste time worrying or feeling sorry for yourself.  Remember who's going to benefit from your efforts. 

And as December winds down, imagine you're in the final stretch of a race.  It may hurt a bit to put your head down and kick, but do it anyway.  The semester is going to end one way or the other.  Why not give it your best shot and finish strong?