Center for the First-Year Experience
The First 6 Weeks
We are thrilled that you are here at Aims Community College! Our mission at the Center for the First-Year Experience is to create and sustain an environment that supports a successful academic and social transition of students into the Aims community. As you may recall from New Student Orientation, organization is an important key to success in college as your life will be very different from the worlds of high school and work.
- Pick up a student handbook or another planner/calendar system of your choice.
- Write down your class schedule for all 15 weeks.
- As soon as possible, gather all your syllabi and write down important dates, assignments, readings, quizzes, exams, and papers that are due for each of your classes – this way you will be prepared and can avoid late nigh cram sessions.
- Once you’ve entered this information add in anything else that never changes – your work schedule, home responsibilities, extra-curricular activities, etc...
- See that open free space? Make sure you block out time daily to study, but don’t forget to pen in “me” time. You need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well.
- Keep your planner with you at all times! If you use the Aims student handbook as your planner you will have quick access to all the semester’s events and important dates – you can also find event information on the event page.
- If you need stop by the FYE office and we can provide you with guidance and resources to better manage your time.
Now that you’re feeling a little more settled, one of the best things about college is meeting people who are different from you and expanding your personal and professional networks! You are an important member of our community and we hope that you foster new relationships across campus throughout your first year!
A few important interactions and conversations you should make:
- Introduce yourself to each of your instructors. The best time to do this is after class and during office hours.
- Make a friend in each of your classes. This way, if you have to miss class, you have someone you feel comfortable connecting with to get information on topics/assignments missed. You also have a study buddy and a new member of your support network.
- Hang out in the lobbies of the different buildings where students typically convene in between classes and step out of your comfort zone – introduce yourself to another student who isn’t in any of your classes. Who knows, this person could become a lifelong friend!
- Connect with your advisor, even if it’s via email or phone. Let them know how things are going and if you need help, they are here to help you succeed!
By now you are realizing the differences between high school, work, and college in all areas of your life. If you haven’t felt it already, your classes will likely become more intense as course readings and assignments increase. However, some classes may feel like less work than you had expected. But, BEWARE; you are accountable for all assignments and readings, regardless if they are collected. For classes that assign more reading than others why not take the opportunity to fine tune your note-taking skills? Stop by the Center for the First-Year Experience to pick up handouts with helpful note-taking advice.
Don’t forget to:
- Sit in the T-zone – that’s the area of the classroom that includes the front row and middle seats. Here you are more likely to hear, be seen, and be heard by your instructors and peers.
- Make sure you attend EVERY class session! Even if attendance is not factored into your final grade through points, it is factored in by your mastery of material presented during class. If you’re not in class you can’t master the material.
- Have the internal desire to succeed!
- Get to know your classmates and form study groups – when it's test time these people will become an invaluable resource.
- Hang out in the Learning Commons often – utilize the computer lab, library, and tutoring services available to you FREE as a student.
- Attend iFocus workshops – this workshop series will assist you in developing and achieving your goals and plans while attending Aims. The five iFocus tracks were created to meet the needs of Aims students in the areas of academic, financial, leadership, technology, and career development.
In the past four weeks you’ve already become an asset to our college community! If you are not already involved in a club or organization, we strongly recommend you do so to reap all the benefits that come along with membership! Getting involved makes you an even more valued member of the community. It’s a great way to gain skills that may help your future career. It’s also another opportunity to meet new people and find your “niche” at Aims!
Check out the Student Life website where you can find out about services, activities, clubs and organizations that you can become a part of or even create! Some of the existing clubs and organizations are:
- Aims Community College Veteran’s Club
- Aims Gay-Straight Alliance
- Aims Harry Potty Marauders Club
- Aims League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
- Aims Music Club
- Campus Crusade for Christ
- Phi Theta Kappa
- W.I.T.T. – Women in Transition Together
Aims has over 30 clubs and organizations, however, if you don’t see something that interests you we encourage you to create your own!
By now you have faced, and possibly experienced, many of the challenges and pressures associated with college (academics, meeting new friends, developing a support system, and managing your time.) Always know that you have the support of your instructors, advisors and staff.
Keep in mind it is very important to take care of yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help if you are going through a tough time. Aims offers FREE counseling services to registered students.
Here is some helpful advice:
- Eat healthy by balancing your diet with fruits and vegetables…. An apple a day will get you an A!
- Carve out time for exercise, remember as a student you have FREE access to the gym. Consider taking a P.E. class to break up your day.
- If you think you may use drugs or alcohol, know the risks and consequences!
- Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night!
- Make time every week in your planner to focus on you and the things you enjoy – spend time with a loved one, go for a jog, get a massage, watch a movie…
Congratulations! You have accomplished so much in your first five weeks! Just think of all the changes you’ve adjusted to. Some were easily navigated while others were much more challenging. The important thing is that YOU’VE MADE IT THIS FAR!!! No doubt that you will go all the way!
Now that you’re nearing mid-terms, it would be a good time to think about the following:
- Evaluate the SMART goals you created for yourself at the start of the term and continue to set goals; they will help you stay the course.
- If your course posts mid-term grades check them by logging into your myAims account. If your instructor doesn’t post mid-term grades still check-in with them on your progress - where you’re doing well and what you might need to do to improve.