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Academics > Advising > The First Year – Adjust and Explore
The First Year

Adjust and Explore

Adapted with permission from Beloit College's Advising Manual

This year is often filled with more transitions than the student thought would happen. Many may talk about homesickness and not fitting in at Monmouth College; remind them that this is often the case for students during their first year at any institution.

Guiding Principles

  • Exploration  – themselves, others, activities, classes, Monmouth College, the world.
  • Finding their passions both in and out of the classroom.
  • Finding their niche at Monmouth College.
  • Keeping their options open as long as possible.

 Discussion Points: Academic

  • Do you like your other classes? Why?
  • How is studying going? How long do you spend studying each day? At the weekend?
  • How are doing in your classes? Have you had any grades? What are they? How do you feel about them?
  • What can you do to improve your grades? (if grades are poor)
  • Have you been thinking about what you would like to major in?
  • Have you filled out a Study Schedule? Are you keeping your Study Schedule?
  • What is the mission of the college?
  • How does your first year's general education courses fit with the mission of the college?

 Discussion Points: Personal and Social

  • How are you adjusting to Monmouth College? The city? The United States?
  • How do you like your roommate? RA? Floor mates?
  • Have you been able to find all the things you need at Monmouth?
  • Do you read The Courier?
  • Are you checking your student email account for messages?
  • Are you working at Monmouth College through work-study or otherwise? If so, where?
  • Are you enjoying Monmouth College?
  • Are you getting involved with any extracurricular activities? What are they? Do you know how to?
  • Are you making friends?

 Discussion Points: The Future

  • Have you thought about what you would like to accomplish during your four years here?
  • Do you know about internships and scholarships?
  • Have you filled out your Goal Sheet?

 Advice to give to the First Year Advisee:

  • Get involved in one or two activities, but don’t over-commit yourself.
  • Realize that making friends takes time, effort and being together.
  • Get off campus sometimes, but not all of every weekend.
  • Attend the many campus discussions, readings and other academic pursuits.
  • Attend the International Symposium (fall) and Student Symposium (spring) to learn what Monmouth students are involved in and what opportunities exist for you.
  • Attend plays, concerts and other forms of entertainment on campus to widen your horizons.
  • Identify personal interests, skills and values by visiting Wackerle Center to complete interest inventories.
  • Take care of your health – regular sleep, eating, exercise, etc.
  • Visit the Wackerle Center to check out your time management and study skills; most students could improve these. Learn what other services they offer.
  • Visit the other support offices on campus to discuss how they can help you, e.g. the writing tutors, the MLC, ******; use their services.
  • Make the time and effort to get to know one of your faculty well each semester by talking to him/her after class and visiting during office hours.
  • Take a variety of courses to broaden your horizons before deciding on a major.
  • Read course descriptions in the catalog and take courses that interest you.
  • Check catalog and Monmouth web site for department requirements.
  • Check with your advisor, faculty from the department and the catalog for majors with sequential courses that should be started in the first year.
  • Establish a strong grade point average from the beginning to keep options open for majors, future study plans, and scholarships.
  • Attend the Major Fair to find more information on departments that you are interested in possibly pursuing.
  • During pre-registration in the spring, consult faculty from your possible majors about what courses you should take.
  •  Think about possible overseas programs, and consider their language requirements.
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