How to spend your time in college wisely

College can be an overwhelming experience. I’m a student too and if I knew in my first year, what I know now, I’d be in a much better place. Without proper planning, students often have to go for an extra year (That’d be me-Super Seniors for the win!) or an extra semester. That means taking out more student loans, buying more books, spending more time on homework and delaying the ability to get my dream job.

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Life happens. Sometimes it is unavoidable. However, there are resources to help you stay on track. This awesome video from Stony Brook University Advising Media shows you how to properly read your Degree Progress Report.

I know you’re thinking, “Yo, Amber. How in the world is reading my Degree Progress Report going to keep me from being here an extra year?” Well, understanding how your report works can tell you how many classes you need to finish your major, minor and prerequisites. You might think you are golden and ready to graduate in May. Then you check your report. Whoops! You forgot to take that second Science class and now you need to stay an extra semester.

I thought I was going to graduate a semester early. I had completely forgotten about the 39 credits of upper division classes required to graduate. I was going to be 6 credits short. Reading my Degree Progress Report helped me see that. Talking with an Advisor helped me decide which classes to take. That combo of reading your report and talking to an academic advising is the key!

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Make sure that as you get closer to the end of your college life, you start meeting with a general academic advisor. They’ll be able to check all of your general requirements and assure you that you’re on the right track. Don’t forget to meet with the advisor in the department of your major also. They’ll be the ones to go over your major or minor requirements specifically. I meet with the Business advisor every semester. It takes 15 minutes and helps me make the right choices in picking my classes.

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