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Advice to New Students

It might seem hard to believe, but the summer is almost over and a new semester is right around the corner. A new semester might mean new courses, new professors, and new opportunities, but it also means a new group of students will be joining the Penn State World Campus community.  

Learning online can be a little hard at first, so we asked past and present Penn State World Campus students to give some advice to the new students. Here is what they had to say:  

Avoid procrastination

“Generally, Canvas Dropbox assignment submission deadlines are at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday (some professors may have different deadline submission times). Start early in advance, give yourself plenty of time, and whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to do an assignment or paper that has a hard deadline. Once that time hits, the Dropbox is closed and assignments will no longer be accepted.” — Edward F.  

“Stay on top of your assignments from day one, and don’t be lulled into thinking you have more time than you do. Time cannot be hoarded and kept in reserves. Have fun and stay focused.” — Abe A.  

“It’s all about time management! Don’t shortchange yourself during the week and expect to get it all done on the weekend.” — Melissa P.  

Reach out to your professors

“Have open communication with your professors. They are awesome, but they can’t read your mind. If you are struggling in grasping a topic, let them know.” — Jason A.  

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My professors have been great at answering mine and my classmates’ questions.” — Jace E.  

“If you need help, reach out. The PSU faculty are here for you, but you have to tell them!” — Maureen C.  

Take advantage of the resources offered to students

“There are tons of resources that Penn State provides to their students. Read every email and every announcement from Penn State. There is a lot of valuable information in them.” — Lina G.  

“Take all the help you are given. There are free 10 hours of tutor.com, use it. Use all the resources your professors offer. Extra tutoring on Saturdays? Won’t hurt. Use it all, and it will only help.” — Madai R.  

“Take advantage of the free software, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Cloud!” — Jennifer I.  

Stay organized

“Be ruthlessly organized. Lay out your tasks and assignments by day. Plan each week at the start. Schedule time to complete your work. Put it on your calendar and stick to it!” — Brad S.  

“Read each syllabus. Plot assignments, quizzes, exams, etc. immediately onto a planner. Color-code each subject.” — Erin S. 

“Use a planner, plot out the due date of every assignment so you can see where you might have a lot due at once so you can spread out those assignments instead of doing the Sunday scramble. Always try to stay a week ahead if possible!” — Tamara L.  

Remember self-care

“Get ample sleep and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Take care of yourself for the long haul and take care of your body because your physical and mental health are heavily tied to one another.” — Connor M.  

“Remember self-care. Take breaks, get up and stretch, grab some coffee. Don’t try to tackle everything all at once. Plan it out if you can. Remember why you started this journey in the first place when you are feeling overwhelmed.” — Renee L.  

Take time off for yourself. Do not burn yourself out getting all your course work done at once. Make sure you make your mental health a priority.” — Allison W.