Sic ‘ing this semester: resources for returning to campus

Buying a planner is a great way to organize different events, tasks, and assignments throughout your week to stay organized. Katy Mae Turner | Photographer Photo credit: Katy Mae Turner

By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer

The beginning of the semester is upon us, and with it often comes concerns about buying textbooks, starting all new classes and handling the costs of tuition and supplies. On top of that, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally as classes go into full swing. For freshmen especially, coming to Baylor for the first time can involve a huge learning curve in adapting from the routine of high school.

Freshman or not, here are some tips to help you hit the ground running this semester.

Academics

  • Textbooks

Exorbitant textbook prices are a tale as old as time, and many students face stress at the beginning of each semester when thinking about the price tag. There are a few different options when it comes to buying books, and opinions differ on whether it’s cheaper to buy from the bookstore or buy online from sites like Amazon.

Some students swear by buying their textbooks online or used from retailers like Half Price Books. Others borrow used books from friends or classmates. What some students may not be aware of is that the Baylor Bookstore will match the price of any textbook with Amazon, Barnes and Noble or a local store up to a $100 difference per book and with a $1,000 limit on the price adjustment per student. When you go into the bookstore, make sure you have the actual listing you want to match with pulled up on your phone — not a screenshot — and make sure the ISBN numbers of both books are identical.

  • Tutoring

It’s always a good idea to go to the office hours that each professor offers to their students weekly. Your professors will be glad to answer questions about the course or discuss any hangups you may have about the content. And in general, building a relationship with your professors will greatly improve the college experience.

College courses often require more time dedicated to studying and assignments than what new students might be used to. For those in need of assistance with any course, there are tutoring services available at the Paul L. Foster Success Center in the Sid Richardson Building.

For help on essays, the Writing Center is located on the second floor of Moody Memorial Library and provides revision and editing services, as well as research strategies, design, organization and help on citations and bibliographies — resources proven to raise grades.

  • Organization

One of college’s most important and most unforgiving lessons is learning how to manage time and keep up with all the items that are on students’ plates. A resounding piece of advice from students of all ages is to keep organized with a planner. That way no deadlines, due dates or important information are lost in the bustle of college life.

It’s a good idea to look through the syllabi your professors give out and write down any dates they may give immediately, including reading assignments, quizzes, tests and anything else the professor thought important enough to note in advance.

Another common suggestion is to find your classes early and create a mental image of the location of each class, especially how far away they are from each other and how long it will take to travel between them. This way, you’ll never get caught sweaty and out of breath, running up several flights of stairs with only 10 minutes to get from one class to another that’s on the other side of campus.

Health

Being a well-rounded student is about more than just keeping up with classes and schoolwork; it’s also about maintaining physical and mental health.

Baylor offers several options for those struggling to find enough food. In addition to this, an active Baylor family-run nonprofit, the On Campus Mom Foundation, has helped hundreds of students find and pay for healthy and accessible meals as well as assisting with the costs of textbooks and other supplies.

The McLane Student Life Center is free for all students and includes every workout machine under the sun, including treadmills, stationary bikes, weights and much more. There are indoor courts for tennis, basketball and other sports as well as an indoor track and swimming pool.

The SLC is also home to the wellness center and mental health services that are easily accessible to students. If spiritual resources rather than therapy are more your speed, Baylor has an outstanding faith-based support system for students in Spiritual Life.

No matter your major or how many hours of classes you’re taking, make sure to take advantage of every resource Baylor offers to help alleviate some of the weight of extra costs, school and anything life throws at you this semester.