Getting back on the academic track

With the new semester starting this week, students have to not only get back into the academic mindset, but also figure out how to improve their academic success on campus.

Students are faced with many problems; one is being overwhelmed with the notes, assignments, and exams throughout the semester.

“Sometimes, I find it hard to keep up with the notes and exams,” Angelina Longo, Transfer student, said. “This next semester though, I think I need to figure out a different way to study and retain the material”.

There are many great ways to succeed as a student, but it takes a lot of hard work and focus.

“Students must take a proactive approach to get back on track,” said Mathew Kunz, an Academic Peer Mentor at Oakland University. “First, the student needs to evaluate what steps they took or could they have taken in order to achieve their goals. Did they go to SI, did they read the book, do practice problems in the book?”

Often times, students do those steps and still need help. That’s where university resources come to be useful.

“Seeing a tutor could allow students to see some of the course material in a different way, one that might make the concepts more accessible,” said Kunz. “At times, it can accent the professor’s lectures and build upon them”

Struggling with academics can be a problem for all students, at anytime in their academic career.

“The hardest thing I have experienced while being at Oakland University is being able to take the things that I learn in class and truly get a better understanding of how those things in the bigger picture affect the ideas of that subject,” said Aaron Pickover, a senior.

Places and events like the tutoring center, tutoring nights, and office hours have become important to academic success. The resources on campus not only allow students to re-learn material they have been struggling with, but allow students to contextualize information they are given and make sense of it.

Though not every student struggling has the same problem, one big problem is study habits.

“As an analogy, imagine all of the course material is a 15 ft party sandwich, imagine how agonizing it would be to eat that entire sub in one sitting,” said Kunz. “I can guarantee you more than likely will not get through the whole sub, unless you happen to be Takeru Kobayashi (a professional eater). And what you do get through, will not be retained in your stomach.”

Procrastination and late night cramming for tests can hurt grades. Instead, students should pace themselves.

“A wiser choice, for those of us that are not the Kobayashi’s of gulping down information, would be to go through the information ‘bite-by-bite’. That way we remember the information, and ace the test,” said Kunz.

No matter what the underlying issue is with failing academics, with the start of the new semester, students are encouraged to use the resources given to them on campus.

The Tutoring Center is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m, and on Friday from 9am – 5pm, starting on the 19th of January. APM tutor nights are Monday-Thursday in Oakview Hall and Hamlin Hall from 8pm-11pm beginning on the 20th of January.

The APM tutor night, in Oakview hall, is open to all students regardless if they live on campus or not.