Preparing for College: Tips from a current student

Get insider tips on how best to prepare for college in this month’s blog post from a current engineering student!

Preparing for College graphic

College is a time you should be excited for. You’re finally on your own, studying what you want, and are actually a part of that student body you watched cheering in Tiger Stadium for so many years. It is a great time in your life, but if you have chosen to be an engineer you should know that going from high school to college is one of the largest (and most important) transitions you can make during your educational career. The saying, “freshman year is the most important year” is a slogan that will be pounded into your head. With the excitement of entering college it may get pushed aside, but the saying could not be more true, and hopefully this post will give some insight to how to best prepare yourself for the year ahead.

The awesome possibility of scheduling classes late in the day so you can sleep hours past that early time you were up every morning for high school is, indeed, awesome. Sleep is great, in fact I guarantee sleep will be more exciting than ever before after one semester, but what’s even better? Great grades and free time all at once…. You’ll learn rather quickly that 24 hours in a day is a lot shorter than you think. Learn NOW how to manage your time to get up early and get your day going soon. Eat a good breakfast, grab some coffee, and start knocking out your homework and studying early. Ideally make it so that you can go to class with your assignments for that day completed, as it is so much easier to focus and get a lot out of class. Plus you’ll have the rest of the day to study more for that upcoming test or get personal errands done.

Speaking of homework, and this may sound profound, but “learn” how to do homework. In engineering, working problems is the best way to learn your material. It is very tempting to google the answers to all your assignments, but learn how to sit down, use the text book, and get the most out of your homework. It will pay off come exam time. Your homework will be difficult at first because it is material you have likely not encountered before, but just take a deep breath and know it will take some time to master everything. So like I mentioned before, learn how to make a schedule throughout the day and make time for getting your homework done.

One habit that you should start doing before you even step foot on campus: to-do lists. It will make everything I’ve mentioned come a lot easier to you. Before you go to bed each night, or when you wake up, make a to-do list of everything you know needs to be completed that day. Prioritize your list, and check off each one as you get it done throughout the day. Not only is this a great way to see what you’re actually accomplishing, but it is a great feeling to check off items on your list.

As I mentioned before, and there is really no way to “prepare” for this, but recognizing that days are a lot shorter than they seem, and that you are busier than you may realize is perhaps the most important advice one can hear. You do not have the time you think you have. Procrastination is deadly and getting a head start on assignments makes life 20 times easier. Everything I have said in this post may come across as pretty obvious tips, but truly understanding that they matter and how to implement them is how one can best prepare for the life of being an engineer. Keeping things like this in mind will allow you to quickly adapt and form your own schedule and ways to be productive. College is a great time and is important to your future. Having great grades early on freshman year is crucial to that experience as class will only get harder with a busier schedule every semester. Hopefully keeping some of these things in mind will maximize your time and education at LSU!

Griffin Selby
Major: Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: Hoover, Alabama
Student Org: AADE

12 Tips to Help you Prepare for Orientation

Attending orientation at LSU is an exciting step in your college career! You will become acquainted with campus, meet lots of new people, learn about all the resources LSU has to offer, and schedule your first semester classes!

It can also be a bit overwhelming if you don’t prepare properly. To help you out, LSU Admissions created a list of “12 Things You Should Do to Prepare for Orientation.” Their Tiger Tips blog post was written by Janae Theriot.

Orientation Leaders

LSU Orientation leaders and new students in the College of Engineering

 

Surviving Spring Invitational (SPIN)

This post is contributed by Natalie Burges, a chemical engineering major from Katy, Texas. She participated in Spring Invitational as an incoming student and will be serving as an orientation leader for the 2015 session. 

Thousands of high achieving students will flood to LSU for Spring Invitational (SPIN) in just a few weeks. We are so proud to host the top incoming students for this exceptional orientation opportunity. The College of Engineering consistently has the highest attendance at the annual event and the large mass of students can often be overwhelming. Luckily you are not alone, and despite the occasional herding, you will be treated as an individual preparing to take the next step in your education rather than a number in the crowd. Nevertheless, here are some helpful hints to help you survive.

1. Come in with an open mind.

LSU is a very diverse campus. You will meet people that come from different backgrounds and have different opinions and thoughts than you. Embrace them. Whether you are from a small town and a graduating class of 25 or a big city with a graduating class of 800, there will be people you can relate to and others you can learn from. Take in the experience and learn to accept people’s differences. LSU is a very welcoming community and it has a lot to offer so do not be afraid to break out of your bubble and walk in someone else’s shoes.

2. Get to know the people around you as well as your orientation leaders.

A large amount of the SPIN students will reside in the College of Engineering. With that being said, the engineering orientation groups can be rather large. Do not let this intimidate you. You don’t have to be best friends with 30 new people when you leave, but open up and talk to the people around you. Get to know them, where they’re from, and why they chose to come to the greatest university in the nation. Campus overwhelms several students but this is your chance to make a connection with your peers that you will see in class and you will see walking through the quad. Believe me, campus is much more welcoming and feels more like home when you see familiar faces. Also, your orientation leaders are great tools to have. They are thrilled to have you there no matter how tired you might be throughout the days of SPIN and they are there solely to help you so take advantage of it. Your orientation leaders can serve as great mentors not only through SPIN but also throughout your college experience.

3. Be ready to take in a lot of very important information.

Oh boy, get ready. Your mind will be filled with crucial information about becoming an LSU Tiger. The sessions may seem long sometimes but I promise that you will want to know this information. It is your responsibility to take care of yourself once you get to college and all the information that your orientation leaders present will be great tools to stay on top of everything and confidently handle your freshman year. You are welcomed to bring a pen and/or highlighter to note information that you might find helpful. When I came through SPIN as an incoming student, I was constantly engaged in the information sessions for two reasons. One, I was terrified of not knowing what to do once I was away from home and responsible for my life, education, and success. Two, because my mom needed to know absolutely everything or I would never hear the end of it. So even if it is to please your parents, pay attention to the information provided at SPIN.

4. Wear comfortable attire.

I made this mistake on the first day of SPIN as a participating student. I tried to look cute, you know, make a good first impression on my peers. Wrong. Dress comfortably because the days are long and can become exhausting. Wear good walking shoes and something you’re comfortable walking, standing, and sitting in. Be ready for anything with this Louisiana weather. Check the weather in the morning and pack appropriately. I would also recommend bringing a jacket in your bag because some buildings on campus can be chilly.

Natalie Burges

Natalie Burges

5. Enjoy every second of becoming an LSU Tiger!

Lastly, have fun! You are going to be an LSU Tiger! The most amazing times of your life are ahead of you and this is just the beginning. Take in the beautiful oaks as you walk across campus, listen to the bell tower ring, visit Mike the Tiger, and embrace the passion that circulates around LSU. You are officially at the greatest place on earth, a place that you will soon call home.

Welcome to Tiger Nation and Geaux Tigers!

 – By Natalie Burges
Chemical Engineering
SPIN Orientation Leader


Are you a family member attending SPIN? Don’t think we forget about you! Here are a few tips from a former Parent Orientation Leader:

1. Be prepared to learn.

My favorite part of SPIN is that it is a collaborative effort across campus. Students and administrators from every department on campus will be there to welcome you to our tiger family. Be prepared to learn a lot of information about the resources that LSU has to make your student successful not only academically, but also professionally.

2. Be prepared to ask questions.

With all of the information that you will be receiving, comes plenty of questions. SPIN is a phenomenal time for you to ask any questions that you may already have, or think of during the program. One of the best resources for you will be your Parent/ Family Orientation Leader. These student leaders have been training for months to make sure that they are well equipped to answer your questions. I highly encourage you to not only ask them about the resources at LSU, but also what their experience is like as an LSU student. I guarantee you they will be more than happy to share their love and passion for LSU.

3. Be prepared to see what it means to be an LSU Tiger.

One of the unique things about SPIN is that this is a normal class week and work week for our students. Spring Invitational is our largest orientation program and it takes place during the school year. As a parent, you have the opportunity to see our campus and students in their natural environment. Our students are not only welcoming you to LSU, but they are going to class and participating in extra-curricular activities just as they would any other week.

4. Be prepared to watch your student transition to a young adult.

This is probably one of the most challenging parts of SPIN for parents. Just as you are learning a lot of information at SPIN, so is your student and it is now your student’s responsibility to implement what he/she is learning. As a parent/family member, it is important to remember this. As your student transitions to the University, it is crucial that you remain supportive of their independence and continue to provide them with the resources that they need to succeed. Visit LSU Parent & Family Programs for more information about the Family Association, Family Weekend, and other Family programs to help you become the best resource for your student.

– By Andrew Hall
Recruiting Associate
LSU College of Engineering

Traveling through the World of Admissions: A Guide for High School Seniors

My name is Andrew Hall and I am the Recruiting Associate for the College of Engineering at LSU. In this role, I get to interact with prospective students as they make decisions about college. My favorite part of my job is traveling to high schools and college fairs across the country to speak with prospective students. Much like planning a trip requires a lot of preparation, so does preparing for the college admissions process! Below are some practical ways that I plan for travel, which can also help you plan your next steps in the admissions process.

1. Plan your destination: Before I take any trip, I have to decide a location and conduct extensive research on the area.  As a senior, this is the first step in your college admissions process. One of the best places to start is the University’s admission site. Typically these sites have landing pages to other Departments, like the College of Engineering. Once you have done your research and visited campus, you may want to consider applying. Applying early is highly encouraged, but if you have not submitted your application, no worries. The deadline to apply for the Fall 2015 semester without incurring a late fee is April 15, 2015. You can access the LSU Application for Admissions here.

LSU Quad: Photo courtesy of LSU

LSU Quad: Photo courtesy of LSU

2. Plan where you are going to stay: Now that you have in mind where you want to go, you need to figure out where you want to stay. Although it is not required for students to live on campus, it is highly recommended. Residential life provides several on-campus living options, including a residential college program. The ERC (Engineering Residential College) provides a unique living and learning environment for our first year engineering students. Students who choose to live in a residential college take classes in their Hall and are also exposed to events that are put on by industry professionals. The residential college is also a fantastic way to meet other students in your program.

The LSU "ERC" or North Hall

The LSU “ERC” or North Hall

Additionally, residential life also offers traditional residential halls, which are not major specific. The traditional halls offer a diverse range of living accommodations and no matter which hall select, you will have the opportunity to live near some amazing campus resources. If you are interested in living on campus, I highly encourage you to complete a housing application as soon as possible.

3. Secure your spot: Just like any other trip, you need to secure your spot at LSU! A $250 enrollment deposit, which indicates an intent to enroll at LSU, is required by all entering freshman and is due by May 1, 2015. The enrollment deposit is not an additional expense, but rather a pre-payment that is deducted from your fall tuition costs. To pay your enrollment deposit, log in to myLSU. Select Student Services from the menu list, then Application Status.

4. Acquire the necessary documents: When you travel, you always need to make sure that you have the necessary documentation ready. Whether it is a passport, proper tax documents, or even flight itineraries, you always want to be prepared for your trip. As an incoming student there are several important items that you must complete before you can enroll at LSU.

  • If you would like to apply for need-based financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You may apply for FAFSA after January 1,2015 and it is recommended to do so as soon as possible. LSU’s code is 002010 for FAFSA. For more information regarding FAFSA, visit our Financial Aid website.
  • Another important thing to do is register for new student orientation. Orientation is a wonderful way to get acclimated with the University and it is required for all incoming students. We also offer orientation sessions for parents and family members of our new Tigers! The deadline to register for orientation is May 1, 2015.

    LSU Ambassadors - Engineering Orientation Leaders

    LSU Ambassadors – Engineering Orientation Leaders

  • Lastly, be sure that LSU has received all of your documents! To do so, you will need to submit final transcripts from all schools attended. A list of transcripts needed and received can be found in “Documents Received” on your myLSU account. Select Student Services, then Application Status in the main menu.

5. Enjoy the travel and planning process: College will go by very fast, and so will your senior year. Although it can seem stressful at times, remember to enjoy the time leading up to your trip. Enjoy the last few months of high school, because before you know it your big trip will be here!

I hope this outline helps you navigate through the admissions process, and if you ever need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact anyone in our office!

Terrica Jamison
Assistant Recruiting Manager
Email:terricaj@lsu.edu

Andrew Hall
Recruiting Associate
Email:ahall38@lsu.edu

Engineering Student Ambassadors
Email:lsuengamb@lsu.edu