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Should I really use a planner?
It is important to have a planner because one of the biggest adjustments that all first-year students have to make is in the area of time management. At the college level, unlike in high school, a large proportion of important work is done outside of class. This means that it is your responsibility to schedule your time so that work gets done. The first step to doing this is to make appointments with yourself, in a sense, by writing in your planner
It's important to do more than simply write in exam dates and paper deadlines; schedule the times that you will work toward these deadlines as well. Once you have written them in, it is up to you to be disciplined and keep that promise with yourself by spending the allotted time working in a place that is conducive to effective study.
All successful people--whether they are students or not--keep planners, and most of them have gotten in the habit of keeping three types of schedules simultaneously: a daily "to do" list, a weekly schedule, and a monthly schedule that helps them see "the bigger picture." This may sound like a lot of work, but it is actually an excellent system for saving time. These successful people usually have budgeted their time so effectively that they have more time for doing things that they really enjoy.
Every semester the Student Learning Center offers instruction on effective time management. Visit their web site to see when the next available time management seminar will be.
All students who live on campus should have received a planner as they checked in to their residence hall. Commuter students can pick up their planners during Commuter Orientation or at the Seymour College Union Service Desk throughout the academic year.
I did well in high school. Why am I struggling now?
Even when you look at it only from the academic standpoint, there are huge differences between high school and college. In college, you will need to spend much more time studying on your own, outside of class, than you did in high school. A general rule to remember is that you should spend three hours per week outside of class for every hour in class:
12 credits (4 courses) = 36 hours a week of studying, reading, writing, homework, etc!
Why is this so different from high school? Because college-level work is much more demanding, the material is more complex, and competition is much higher.
The biggest thing to remember is that you can be a good college student--you were accepted to Brockport because of this fact. It is just a matter of getting into your own groove, academically and personally. If you are having trouble in either of these areas, there is always help available. On the personal level, you can talk to your RA or RD about residence life, or to a counselor at the Counseling Center about other personal matters (such as stress, anxiety, depression, homesickness, or loneliness).
On the academic level, your advisor can help you regarding your approach to your classes, and the Student Learning Center, at (585) 395-2293, is always a great place to go for just about any need you may have, from tutoring to study skills help to seminars and workshops designed to help you handle that workload and make you a better student.