We are right near the end of the cycle for one group of students (the Fall semester starts on August 15), and we will open up the 2012 Freshman application on the same day. As such, here is a list of do’s and don’ts for both of these groups of students (please take with a little grain of salt):
DO: Have a great rest of the summer, and know that the first week at UGA, while a little intimidating, is the start to a great year! Speak with your professors on the first day, check out some of the great events going on that week at http://www.uga.edu/campuslife/calendar.html, try to connect with a few organizations that seem interesting to you, step outside your comfort zone, etc.
DON’T: Let me see your name and/or photo on the front page of the Red and Black newspaper because you did something stupid the first week. It is the first week that you will be on your own at college and away from the parents, but be smart in the choices you make.
DO: Jump in feet first into your classes, study hard, get to know the faculty member and your peers in you First-Year Odyssey course, and be on time. The UGA iPhone app has a campus map that can direct you around campus and show you where you are using GPS, and the bus system is a lifesaver.
DON’T: Skip any classes because they are too early/too late/too far away/because you are late. Attendance is key, along with planning ahead. Map out your weeks to include study time, find people to study with, and use the available resources, from tutoring to your RA to your professors.
DO: Have a great first year, as your freshman year should be wonderful!
Rising HS Seniors:
DO: Have a wonderful senior year, as your senior year should be special. Focus on doing well in your classes, but also take time to strengthen your ties to your friends, meet new people, and enjoy your last year of HS.
DON’T: Let senioritis overtake your brain. After you are admitted to a college, they will still be reviewing your final HS transcript, and you need to make sure your grades have not dropped to a level that causes problems in enrolling at your intended college.
DO: Stay active in clubs, sports, volunteer work or other activities that you have been involved with during HS. Senior year should be a good finish to your HS years, not a count-down until you are out of there.
DON’T: Be so active in all things outside of school that you let your grades drop (see the first DON’T). Know (or learn) how to juggle different demands, and know that your academics come first.
DO: Look at the college search process as a time to learn more about yourself, what you want to do for the next four years, and find several good matches in your college search. This should be an exciting time where you are able to look into the future and see how you fit with each college, and the possibilities that are down the road.
DON’T: Listen to myths, rumors or people who say “I heard that in order to get into UGA…”. Senior year and the college search should not be a time of panic or despair, and most of the stress is not necessary. College admission offices want to work with you and help you through the process, so listen to their suggestions.
DO: Pay attention to deadlines, take responsibility for your own college applications, and make sure things are in well before they need to be.
DON’T: Do things at the last minute. How you act in HS and in the application process shows us how you might be on our campus. If you do things at the last second (or later), procrastinate, and do not take care of your side of things, what do you think the colleges will be thinking about how you will handle things once you get to college.
DO: Enjoy your senior year, take time to enjoy the college selection process, and thank your parents/guardians for all that they have done.