Chapter 5

Survival: Probably Not the Kind You Learned on OA


Shop around for courses and precepts the first week. The introductory courses you are taking are probably relatively large, with many sections and times. Instructors do vary in style and quality, and only by attending different sections and asking around can you find the instructor that will be best for you.

In some courses, especially math courses, solutions manuals have been made available in the E-Reserves or the associated departmental library. Although you can’t expect to learn unless you do most of the homework yourself, it is good to have a reference to consult when you’ve been stuck on a problem for a while.

Departmental libraries are wonderful places to study, and less crowded than Firestone.

If you’re having a lot of trouble in a course, and have exhausted the available review sessions and office hours, try visiting other professors’ office hours or additional sections of the course.

There are also student tutors for these courses available in the Study Hall on the third floor of Frist on Sunday through Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 10:30. Tutoring can also be arranged through your residential college for a fee.

Things offered as Pequod packets at the bookstore can often simply be downloaded from the course’s Blackboard site. Take a look before you buy.

Laptops can be checked out from the Engineering Library, although they cannot leave the library.

Make friends in your courses. See if you can figure out who in your courses is also in your residential college. It’s always nice to have a study group.

What Not To Do

If there is one piece of advice we can give, it is to not get sick. At the risk of sounding like your mom, we would like to point out that vitamins, exercise, and proper hygiene go a long way. Trust us, you do not want to get sick. If, however, you do get sick, the McCosh Health Center is available for both clinical and inpatient services. If you do not want to be admitted as an inpatient, you can stay there as an overnight boarder. You can even stay there overnight if you are not sick at all, and just want a little peace and quiet.

Most courses are organized on a weekly basis. Do not get more than a week behind, or you may find it impossible to catch up.

“What happens if I fail an engineering requirement? Am I doomed?”
It depends on what that requirement is, and whether or not it is a prerequisite for courses you will need to take in your sophomore year. Often, you can take a similar course at another institution over the summer in order to fulfill the requirement. We suggest you discuss such a situation with Dean Bogucki.