Freshman How To

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By Emily Trent

School can be hard. One can be beyond prepared, but sometimes life has other plans as 2020 has shown us. I believe the beginning of the semester is very important for incoming students and because it now looks a little different, I wanted to share my tips and advice for new students.

As a Junior, I think I have nailed the art of time management and organization. I have also learned how to use the resources IU South Bend provides to have a successful school year.

Time management:

Prioritize. Prioritize. PRIORITIZE. Learning to prioritize can help with work efficiency and aid in reaching personal and academic goals. I have also learned that time management has improved my self-discipline. This has led me to better my work ethic.


I live by my planner; my entire life is written in my planner. Having somewhere, rather that be physical, on your phone, in your google calendar etc. ensures that important things won’t be missed. I found that checking things off your to do list is a great way to motivate yourself.

Study habits:

Finding the perfect study routine can be difficult. Everyone learns differently and it may take some time to find the perfect routine that works. Finding ways that help you learn will make the process easier and even more enjoyable.

Study tips:

  • Find your place to study
  • Write things down, especially stuff that you have questions about
  • Take breaks and stay hydrated
  • Stay rested, don’t push yourself too hard

Finding resources:

IU South Bend provides many different resources to help students succeed. Some that I have found useful are:

  • Writers’ Room
  • The Learning Center
  • Titian Success Center

My biggest piece of advice for incoming students would be to ask for help when you need it. The resources are there to help and enhance students’ experience. I strongly recommend speaking to your professors when you encounter an issue. They are there to help and it will make the class much easier when you are getting the proper instruction.

As important as academics are, I have learned that prioritizing my mental health is very important. It can be very easy to get lost in homework, but it is very important to take breaks and focus on getting enough sleep as well as making time for other activities outside of school.

Getting out of your comfort zone may be scary but joining a club or organization of interest is a good way to take a break from classes and expand your social horizons all at the same time. If you have an interest, there is more than likely a club for you.

All resources can be found at:


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