Things I wish I knew as a Freshman: Succeeding Academically and Socially
"Don't count the days, make the days count" -Muhammad Ali, American Boxer, Activist, and Philanthropist.
Welcome back or welcome to Adventures at Franklin! This post is the final installment in my 3-part series: Things I wish I knew as a Freshman. Post 1 was all about how to save money as a student http://adventuresatfranklin.fus.edu/2020/08/things-i-wish-i-knew-as-freshman-how-to.html. Post 2 was all about what you ACTUALLY need for an FUS dorm: http://adventuresatfranklin.fus.edu/2020/08/things-i-wish-i-knew-as-freshman-what.html. It's been fun writing these posts because I've gotten to remember and reflect on my time at FUS. I hope for you, these posts have been informative!
Today's topic: achieving success both academically and socially. Success is something that is difficult to define, as it is very relative and dependent on every individual because everyone has different expectations and different parameters of what defines success. Social success is particularly tough to nail down, so let's start with academic success first.
As I mentioned, everyone has different expectations and parameters for success, and this is no different in academics. One grade will mean something different depending on the student. However, I think the ultimate goal that defines academic success is graduation, and there are some universal steps that will help anyone achieve that. Here are some of my tips:
- Take the time to do the work. 2 important things required to achieve academic success: time management and hard work. At FUS, if you put time and effort into your classes (do homework, read the readings, complete projects/assignments etc.), then it's pretty hard not to do well. It's as simple as that sometimes. Do the work ---> get good grades.
- Also pro tip: sometimes professors will put the homework assignments in the syllabus, so if you want to, you can get the work done way in advance. I never had the motivation to work way in advance but I almost always try to get all my assignments done for the following week. I would spend some of my weekends working on assignments for the next week because something almost always pops up during the week that I would need to turn my attention to. If nothing happened, then yay I had a week free of major homework assignments. I don't always manage to finish all my work for the week on the weekend, but when I do, it makes life much smoother.
- Create a plan. Some courses at FUS are only offered every 2 years, so if you need a class for a major/minor/core requirement, then you'll need to plan accordingly. I know many students who come to FUS are undeclared, so you don't need a specific plan right away. Nonetheless, you should have a general plan in place right from the start. For example, I came in as undeclared, and so while I didn't know what I wanted to study, I decided to take as many classes that would check off my core requirements so I would be free of the core requirements. One of the worse things is having to take a class you really don't want to take in your last semester, but you have to take it to graduate. If you want to read more about planning/course registration, then check my post on that here: https://adventuresatfranklin.fus.edu/2020/04/a-definitive-guide-to-course.html
- Use your resources. There is a lot of help available. You can ask your professors, Academic Mentors, or other upper class-men. We have tutoring services available in the Writing and Learning Center. If you need help, it's very easy to find help :)
- Find ways to manage your stress. Although it's important to do the work, it's just as important to not overwork and to not burn out. Take breaks and take time to do things you enjoy as well, so you don't burn out early in the semester.
Switzerland has 4 major languages, so it's very important to know some basic phrases. Check the post out to discover some helpful phrases in Italian, German and French, which may just help you out in the future!
"Every Franklin student knows the value of picking up a few words of the many languages they encounter — and when it comes to getting around in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, where Franklin is located, it's definitely useful to have some terms at hand." -Gabrielle, circa 2016
If you're gonna go to Franklin, you should learn a few things about Lugano :)
Housing 102: The Ultimate (and UPDATED) Guide on FUS Dorms!
Fun fact, I also wrote this post! A gigantic post that covers pretty much everything you would want to know about FUS dorms from my extensive knowledge gained from giving tours for Admissions for 2 years.