By Jef Grebener, Student Connect Peer Mentor
So, here we are with a couple weeks behind us in this new semester. By this point in the semester we should have a feel for how instructors lead classes, their expectations of students, and the policies they have regarding attendance and assignments. Now that classes are picking up steam, with the first round of exams and assignments due or completed it is important to remember the resources around campus to help you get the most of your semester.
If you feel like you’re struggling with any classes the first step is to approach your professor. All professors are different, so, this could mean sending an e-mail, giving a phone call, or stopping by their office during open office hours. Regardless of how you contact your instructor, this should be the first step to getting back on track if you feel you need help. Don’t wait until midterm or the end of the semester to address problems or concerns about how you are doing in any class. By speaking to your instructor in a respectful way, and bringing whatever exam or assignment you are struggling with to them, you can get the best advice on what that instructor is looking for and how to improve on your next project or test. By reaching out to your instructor first you are separating yourself from other students and showing that you are committed to improving your skills. This can be a great first step for building a meaningful relationship with your instructor that will last long after your time at RVC has come to an end.
It may be that you aren’t understanding certain concepts of the class and you need some tutoring to help get you up to speed. The Tutoring Center on the ground floor of the Student Center offers RVC students free tutoring in most subjects and they also offer a free writing lab to help with any papers you may want to have checked before handing in. There are also open tutoring labs for math, biology, and chemistry in the JCSM.
There are also peer mentors at the Getting Started Center on the second floor of the Student Center who can help you find resources around campus or meet with you one on one. Sometimes even meeting with a classmate can help, by exchanging notes, ideas, and concepts with classmates sometimes things become easier to understand. By introducing yourself to members of your class, or even reaching out to classmates via EAGLE, you can begin to build a network. Meeting a few people from all of your classes will help you to be more engaged in the college lifestyle and studies show that the more involved and engaged you are with fellow students the more successful you will be in classes. These loose friendships that you build in the classroom today will lead to future professional opportunities in the future, and it’s never too early to begin building a network of peers.