Start your term the best way you can.


  • Buy your books. Open them. Look through them. What’s the format? How will you read them?  What strategies will you use based upon the course content and assignments?
  • Organize your time for each class.  Some students like to use paper planners. Others prefer to rely on their smartphones or computers. There are many homework and organizational apps that you can purchase for your smartphones or tablets.
  • Explore Canvas. See what your professors have already posted. Often, professors will post the syllabus on Canvas before the first day of class.  At times, professors may even post all materials and assignments for the class prior to the first day of class.   
  • Learn your professors’ names before the first day of class. Find out their office hours and email addresses so you can connect with them throughout the term and seek out help if needed.   Plan to communicate and build relationships with professors regardless of if you are struggling in the term.
  • Read your syllabi. Not all professors go over the course syllabus in class. Read through the expectations and assignments. Note any questions you have and contact the professor for clarification. Look for any opportunities for extra help such as study sessions, GTA office hours, or review sessions.   Plan ahead to use available resources.
  • Introduce yourself to 2-4 people in your class. Exchange contact information.  If you miss a class or want to connect with people to study, you'll know a few people who might be interested.