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Tips From Survivors

Suggestions from University of Missouri - St. Louis Business Students
on How To Survive College

Create a portfolio of references and accomplishments.

  1. Take two consecutive classes with the same instructor or professor.
  2. Be proactive in the classes in order to get good grades.
  3. Near the end of the final semester you can solicit a letter of recommendation from that instructor.
  4. Be sure to give a deadline because professors are always working on projects.
  5. Having a portfolio will give you an extreme advantage over students with higher grades than you.

(Jamie H., Finance and Management, Senior)

Do extra work and talk to your instructors. You will probably find that your professors will not hand out a classroom full of A's like in high school. Don't aim to do as well as everyone else in class, aim to do twice as well as everyone else and you might find yourself with one of the few A's they do give out. Making yourself visible to your teacher by sitting up front and talking to them helps a lot. Life is political and we often vote for the names we see the most.
(Tammy, senior, Mgmt/HR)

I would suggest saving some of your easier classes to mix in with your harder ones during your junior and senior years.
(James J., Senior, Accounting)

I would suggest that students pay close attention to where their classrooms are when they register for classes that don't have a long break between them. I have 15 minutes to get clear across campus, without a car, (SSB to the Art Building) and had I realized it earlier I probably wouldn't have planned my schedule like that.
(Laura B., Accounting Major Senior)

Procrastination uses more energy than just doing whatever reading, or paper that may be assigned. "Inch by inch, life's a cinch - Yard by yard, life is hard" Take 30 minutes day for yourself and remember these are the good old days- enjoy where you are and what you're doing now.
(Robin S., Junior, Business Administration)

One suggestion I have is to attend all classes even if attendance is not taken or you think you won't be missing anything. Due dates can change, you can miss relevant material, or you will just fall that much behind.
(Todd J. Senior, Business Administration)

One of the suggestions I have for new MIS students is, if they want to do programming with their degree, to take CS 1250 as an elective before BA 3806. It really helped me a lot in IS 3806 and IS 3816. Also, don't take BA 3320 with an overload…bad news all the way around. Register as early as you are allowed in order to get the classes at the times you want… pay close attention to the syllabi, it is really helpful. I always buy my books for the next semester BEFORE the previous semester ends, the bookstore usually already has most of the books out and it gives me a chance to get a jump on the reading.
(Heather S., Senior, MIS)

One of the best things I did when I transferred to UMSL was getting involved in campus activities. Taking aerobics classes at Mark Twain, joining the accounting club, and sorority introduced me to so many people. That is very important especially at a commuter school. Just this past week I formed study groups with the people that I met through activities.
(Paula E., Junior, Business)

When I had transferred in to UMSL from a junior college, I wish that I would have known that my GPA there did not carry over to my UMSL GPA. It didn't make me want to switch schools, but it would have helped me prepare for the initial shock. I also wish that I had been more prepared for starting my junior level classes. I have always been a very good student, until I transferred here, and I didn't even think that I would have any problems with my grades. Then, after I complained about it, someone finally told me that junior level classes are in fact a lot harder than any of the previous years. Make the suggestion of career services and internship possibilities, and how important they are.
(Kimberly H., Junior, Accounting)

Some suggestions that I would make to freshmen would be that it is very important to form study groups. Get to know the people in your class and form a study group. Secondly, make out a study schedule and stick to it. Lastly, ask plenty of questions in class.
(Jameelah E., Senior, MOB and Marketing)

I guess the things I needed to know when I first started at UMSL were things people had already told me, but I figured they were just talking. What I was told when I started school was to always keep up with the work or it will kill you in the end with trying to get caught up and studying. Well, I can definitely say it is the truth, if you wait until the last minute it definitely doesn't help you out at all. So, stay on top of things, and make sure you keep up with ALL your work. Never wait until the last minute and cram because it usually doesn't work. Also, when taking classes and you get stuck with a class that has quizzes and homework that is assigned and collected for a grade, I think it's better to have these classes because it is not as difficult to keep your grade up because you have more than just exam scores to get the grade you desire. So, when you get the class where you have a million quizzes during the semester and homework due every week just be thankful. Chances are you'll get a better grade because if your test scores are bad you still have your homework to bring your grade up, and vice versa.
(Melissa M, sophomore, MIS and Accounting)

"Don't give up" If you have 12 credit hours per semester, do it but do not overload. If you feel burned out and are thinking about quitting college or taking only 3 or 6 credit hours per semester, DON'T. It will take you longer to finish college and then at a point you will feel frustrated and totally burned out. Make a commitment to yourself and take college seriously.

(Solange H., BUS)

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