posttrib
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

Our view: Advice for college freshmen

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: September 17, 2012 12:29PM



Acting Purdue University President Tim Sands has some universal and sensible advice for incoming college students.

(You might get the scissors out to clip and save this editorial. Send it with your first care package to the dorm.)

Asked for one goal a freshman should strive to attain, Sands said: “The most important to maintain is your academic standing. Students should try their best to stay above a 3.0 grade-point average. ... If you maintain it, you will have more options down the road.”

We emphatically agree. All the energy exerted to start off a college career on solid footing pays dividends down the line. It takes time-management skills and focus to push distractions aside, but it can be done.

“Apply yourself, and make sure you carve out time to study,” Sands said. “A good rule of thumb is two hours for every one hour of class.”

We endorse Sands’ suggestion to “explore as much as possible. Most of our students get into a field of study immediately, then realize, ‘This is not what I want to do,’ and all that is fine. Students should know they are able to explore.

“Come with an open mind. You are going to be exposed to things that are totally new to you.”

Sands, who has been Purdue’s provost since 2010, is a professor of materials engineering and electrical and computer engineering. He encourages students to take advantage of a professor’s office hours.

“Go for it,” he says. “Some students avoid that ... thinking the professor does not want to be bothered. Take any opportunity to engage the faculty and teaching assistant.”

Beyond the classroom, get involved with a student organization, Sands suggested.

“You don’t have to be the president, but you’ll meet people who aren’t in your classes,” he said.

In short, Sands said, make the most of your years on campus.

“The time will go by very quickly, so make the best of it,” he said.

(Lafayette) Journal and Courier



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.