Office of First Year Experience

Survival Skills

Student speaking in fromt of class
In the classroom…

Go to class!
While some classes may not have strict attendance requirements, it is important to attend all of your classes to get the most of your college education. Absenteeism will hurt your grades and learning process dramatically while in college.

Keep your syllabus handy.

A syllabus, given by your instructor at the beginning of a course, includes instructor contact information, required course texts, description of course objectives and assignment deadlines, and details how the final grade will be computed.

Come prepared for class.
In addition to bringing along the essentials (a notebook, pen/pencil and your textbook) being prepared for class means that you have read the assigned materials carefully and have completed your homework. Be prepared for an engaging classroom discussion about the assigned readings.

Turn in your assignments on time!

Take notes during class.
Pay attention to what the instructor is saying. They can tell, even in lecture classes, who is not paying attention or doing other course work.

Learn to think independently and critically.
Have an open mind for new ideas and challenge yourself.

Ask questions if you are confused or having problems.
Visiting professors during their established office hours is an excellent way to ask questions about course assignments. Most professors believe their office hours are underutilized, so stop in and get to know them.

Remember the 3-to-1 rule:
It is expected that you dedicate 3 hours a week for every 1 credit you are taking. So a 15-credit semester means 45 hours of study time — that’s a full time job!

Review material often.
Last-minute studying is stressful and reduces chances for good grades. Make use of time before class or waiting in line by reviewing your class notes.

Students at a football game
Campus life…

Visit your academic adviser each semester.
Your adviser can help you select classes that will suit your needs and help you complete your degree.

Get involved!
Becoming involved in a student organization, intramural sports or campus event helps you connect to campus and develop your leadership skills. Find out how!

Get a campus job.
Working on campus is a great way to earn money, meet people and feel more connected to campus. Check out campus jobs at UT Career Services.

Manage your time wisely.
First-year students tell us that one of their greatest challenges is learning how to manage their time well. Invest in a planner.

Honor the academic integrity of this community.
As a member of the UT community, you are expected to be a student of integrity. Check out the Academic Dishonesty policy.

Select a major early and explore career options.
Choosing a major and finding a career path can be challenging; however, there are a number of useful resources available on campus. UT Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services has information on careers, and some of the colleges have college-specific career services.

Learn how to manage your stress.

Keep fit.
Stay active and relieve some stress by exercising. The Recreation Center is free to all students who pay the student services fee. Meet people and stay fit by joining an intramural sport.

Last Updated: 6/26/15