Office of First Year Experience

Fresh Facts

University Hall
This is the place to go for tips and tricks, for hints and suggestions on having a successful first year at UT.  These hints and suggestions come from experts at being successful in college -- the faculty!

Here are some of their tips for success in college.

Student Resources

From a biology prof:

For all science courses, work ALL of the problems in the back of book, study guide, Web site, etc, whether they are assigned or not. Identify WHY you can't work a problem.  Ask your professor to explain any problem you are unable to work.
Practice with problems (this is NOT studying – it comes after studying) is necessary for developing mental skills just as it is in developing physical skills.  You wouldn't enter a golf tournament that your future depended on without practicing as much as you could.  Why, then, would you take a test without practicing as much as you can?

Study groups, study groups, study groups.  The fact is, in college all significant learning comes from other students.  The professor simply points out what to learn and puts it all in some kind of perspective.

Ernest DuBrul, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

From a theatre prof:

Get a datebook or calendar THAT YOU WILL REALLY WANT TO LOOK AT.  [If you attended Rocket Launch, you received an academic planner.]  Take the syllabi that you receive from your professors, and transfer all of the due dates, exam dates, etc., into your main datebook/calendar.  Then you can see at a glance what is going to be expected of you in any given week.  It will help you to keep up with your course requirements in the long haul. :)

Kirby Wahl, M.F.A.
Assistant Professor of Theatre

From a chemistry prof:

Inthe first week, introduce yourself to each of your instructors.  This not only provides a name with the face, which can be helpful later, such as at time for recommendations, but also provides a personal connection which some think gives a student a greater motivation to do well in the class.
Put all exams, quizzes, paper deadlines for the whole term into your planner at the start of the semester.
Schedule your week - including study time.   A two-hour break between classes can be a waster - or 90 minutes of productive work.

Beopen to possibilities - such as being part of a study group, or participating on a special project.  It can help you learn - and give you info on your potential career.

Take advantage of what the University has to offer - plays (of course!), the Museum of Art (just a quick bus ride away), sporting events, newspapers and magazines in the basement of the library, outside speakers.  

Besure to balance extracurricular activities with curricular work.  Student clubs can be fun, but they don’t make a life.

Andy Jorgensen, Ph.D.
Director of General Chemistry
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Last Updated: 6/26/15