Get Ahead Early
Go to the TU website (www.utulsa.edu) and look around. Look at Info for Prospective Students, Current Students, and the New Student Checklist. Many professors post their syllabi online through Harvey. If so, you could get books or begin doing readings over the summer.
Get organized early! Buy your backpack and supplies now. Label and organize your notebooks for each class—color code them for easy locating if your room gets messy. You will want a notebook for each class to keep your course syllabus and important papers/notes in one place. Schedule to Enroll early to get the classes you need.
You will be completely on your own for time management in college, and we recommend everyone use a planner. Buy a planner now at the Bookstore that is divided into days so you can make “to do” lists and write your class schedule, important assignments, test dates, and other appointments in one location. You will also have access to a Google calendar with your TU email that can be used for this. This is especially helpful if you have a smart phone: you will always have access to your calendar on your phone. Practice makes perfect: start using a planner this summer to record summer work hours, social time, etc.
Come to campus and walk around if you can. Learn the buildings and find a campus map online: utulsa.edu/map. Get a copy of your class schedule and walk the routes between classes now to figure out how much time you need to get from one class to another. Determine when you will have breaks for lunch and dinner and try some dining locations on campus. Locate services of interest to you now, such as Multicultural Student Programs in Hardesty Hall and the Tutoring Center.
Find McFarlin Library and get acquainted with the different areas: books, computer labs, coffee shops, study areas, media services. Get familiar with the library website and visit TU Copy.
Find your Academic College (Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering and Natural Sciences, or Health Sciences) and meet your Academic Advisor. Find out requirements for majors and minors and learn resources.
Wellness and Safety
Visit the Alexander Health Center. This is where you will go for free help with minor injuries and illnesses, immunizations, and counseling services. Tour the Fitness Center and make plans for an exercise routine. Check with Dining about menus and nutrition and make plans to eat healthy. Sign up for emergency text alerts about weather or other emergencies.
If you know an upperclassman who has attended TU, take them to coffee and ask questions. How hard are classes? How are attendance policies enforced? What should I do if I get sick? What should I expect the first few weeks? What should I know/do as a freshman? Also, join the Admissions Facebook page to start connecting with friends now. Having a social group will be helpful when you need study groups or to take a break.
Look for student clubs and organizations that you can join with Student Activities. Visit International Student Services if you are an international student. Talk to Veterans Affairs if you are a veteran. As a new student, you should connect with New Student Programs and Services and sign up to participate in Orientation. Parents can get helpful information here as well. Get the athletic events schedule and visit the various arenas.
Let your family and friends plan a party for you, or plan one yourself. Having people gather to “send you off” on this new adventure, even if you plan to live at home, gives them a chance to show their support and encouragement as you begin the transition to this new phase of life!
Make a plan with your family in advance about how often you will contact them, visit home, and what updates they will want from you. As a college student, you are beginning life as an adult and will be totally responsible for yourself. No one else will be checking to make sure you take care of things, so you will need to take charge of your new autonomy. You will be making decisions and need to show your family they can trust you. You no longer need to bring family to campus events or meetings, but they will likely want to know how things are going. Keep in touch but start showing them you are consulting with them but not relying on them to do it for you.
CSAS offers weekly Academic Success Coaching to all students free of charge. These sessions focus on academic success and mentoring to help you have the best collegiate experience. Sign up now and reserve your spot!
College is a really fun time in your life. Get excited and welcome to TU!
Read the Academic Bulletin and Student Handbook. Make sure you understand academic honesty rules at the collegiate level. Contact Financial Aid to see if you qualify for any aid or scholarships or have GPA requirements. Visit the Bursar to check tuition costs and arrange for tuition insurance.
Visit Housing and Dining to learn about the housing lottery, meal plan options, and rules in housing units. Ask for a tour of where you will live and take pictures and measurements to plan for decorating and to make it home. Visit the Housing Website to find out what to bring.
Proactive Academic Tips
You should plan to study at least 3 hours for every hour spent in class. Mark study times in your planner for each class and hold yourself accountable for putting in the time. It is easier not to overbook yourself if you have study time planned in advance. Make plans now to not miss class. Attendance is important to earning good grades and some classes have attendance policies.
Learn how GPA works in the Student Access FAQ’s and determine what grades you want to make. Set goals ahead of time for each class or visit CSAS to make goals in Academic Success Coaching. Tutoring is free at TU. Make plans to use it early and often. If you have a disability, register for accommodations with Student Access now.
If you plan to work, do not work more than 20 hours per week so you have adequate time to devote to your academics.
Your TU email is the main mode of communication on campus. Start checking it every day.
Learn to manage your finances and set up a local checking account now. Create a budget and stick to it (start with http://www.oklahomamoneymatters.org/).
Work now on developing a healthy sleep routine—go to bed and get up at the same time every day for the best results.