Gonzaga professors offer advice to incoming first-year students

Clarence Barnes has worked for Gonzaga University since 1973.

The process of starting college and joining a new community can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. Here are some tips from faculty members to  help you along the way.  

Once you finish the big step of moving in and meeting your roommate(s), be sure to complete your freshman orientation and get your updated schedule. Then find a good map of campus to help you locate your academic buildings and the places you’ll visit for food, recreation and study sessions.

The college experience is going to be quite different from high school, so developing new habits will definitely help you adjust.

Clarence Barnes, an economics professor, offers great advice on time management.

“Set a plan for the day: your classes, where they are and when they begin, when you should eat, nap, socialize and most important, study," Barnes said in an email.

If you happen to experience any academic difficulties, Barnes said you should address learning and comprehension issues early by visiting your adviser or professor.

First-year adviser for the School of Business Administration, Jane Hession agrees.

“Professors value feedback and opinions from college students and always appreciate questions if a student needs assistance," Hession said. "You and your teacher are partners in your learning experience." 

Don’t let academic problems go unaddressed, see your professors as soon as possible.  

A key advantage to the college experience is that students learn to become more independent in everything they do. 

In developing this independence, Hession advises that “college students learn to be flexible, adaptable and need to trust in themselves.” 

Trusting in your new community, most importantly your new professors, is one of the keys to success when beginning your college journey. 

Adapting to your new college environment will be a different experience, but following these tips can make it a whole lot easier and allow you to enjoy your new surroundings and concentrate on growing as a member of the Gonzaga community. 

Lauren Thomas is a staff writer.

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