Arriving at campus on the first day brings a lot of feelings of love, hate, sadness, happiness, and a bunch of other double sided feelings. Mostly because you are making a major change to your lifestyle by leaving your parents and becoming independent. But with all this comes a new light and a new opportunity to better yourself. These opportunities shouldn’t be taken for granted because then, you can struggle with the work and fall behind. Learning lessons is always a good thing, it’s hard sometimes to see the positive in lessons. But perceiving lessons with a positive outlook will always make your life easier and make you smarter in the long run.

1. Maintain Organization

Professors at West Virginia tend to give a syllabus out on the first week of class. Start off and take the time to look through it in order to know when your homework is due and when your exams are. Also, look at how the professor runs the class and check leniency to understand what your priorities are. Next thing you want to do is get a physical paper calendar and input all of your assignments and due dates, they have nice ones in the WVU bookstore for very cheap.IMG_2418


2.Communicate and Interact With Your Professors

When you are sitting in lecture be sure to listen, take good notes, and prepare a few questions that you might ask your professor towards the end of class, at WVU they are usually 50 minutes and 3 times a week. A professor doesn’t really take the time to learn everybody’s name in the lecture of two hundred plus people. So by asking a question at the end of the class, you are basically showing the professor that you were attentive, listening, and also curious in the subject which separates you from the rest of the WVU students. Eventually when exams come around, that professor will know your name and be more considerate when grading your exam.IMG_2419


3.Know Where to get Help if you Need it

Most math and science courses in college have an open lab to help answer any questions you might have on the assignments. Open labs at WVU are a good thing to make a habit of going to because they really help one on one and it makes it a lot easier to learn. In each lab, there are multiple TA’s that got an A in the course and know a lot about it. Other places that are good to check with is if the professor is good at responding to emails.If the professor is good at this they will be a lot of help when you are confused and doing your homework.IMG_2420


4.Get in the Habit of a Healthy Routine

Go to the Downtown or Evansdale library, get food from the lair or crossings, go to the recreation center, or hang out with friends in your dorm, but make sure you are allocating the right amount of time to do each of the things you need to do. Keeping a healthy routine will allow you to have time for everything you enjoy doing as well as being a excellent student. People who hit the ground running with organization and good time management skills are usually the most successful at WVUIMG_2421


Being a successful WVU student is really not that hard, anybody can do it. The only thing you have to do is make smart decisions and make them based on your priorities. Be organized, communicate, stay positive, and be proactive to ensure your success as a Mountaineer.

Thomas Decoste

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