Five Tips and Tricks for a Successful On-Ground Student

Being a full-time, residential student can sometimes be difficult. From balancing a strict class schedule during the day with work and life, to finding parking, sometimes it takes a little extra motivation to help an on-ground student get going in the mornings. While somewhat less-flexible than an online environment, on-ground capacity does come with its perks. Ease of access to face time with instructors and administrators and bonding opportunities with classmates who become friends help guide our on-ground students as they progress through their programs.

Though it can be tough, there are a number of tips and tricks that one can utilize to improve their chances of success as an on-ground student and increase their performance at the same time. These tips and tricks are helpful whether you’re brand new to our institution or a seasoned veteran. Some of these overlap with our online guide because some tips are universal, regardless of your situation. Others are specific to on-ground.

Number 5 – Meet and Really Get to Know Your Instructors

For the online countdown, this one was listed as “Managing Distractions.” While that is definitely something you will need to accomplish as an on-ground student at WVJC, another just as important tip is to really get to know your instructors. These individuals are professionals in their fields with real-world, expert knowledge. They also have families, hobbies, favorite songs and movies, and everything in between.

Most of our instructors teach multiple classes at the school, and though you are only there for a short while (in the grand scheme of things 18 months flies by), they will be a pretty big part of your life during that 18 months. So, take some time to get to know them. Our instructors are wonderful people and who love to help their students. It’s rarely the exam score that instructors remember about a student, but rather the conversations, personalities, and effort shown in and outside of class.

Your instructors will serve not only as teachers, but mentors and eventually colleagues, so take some time to get to know them!

Number 4 – Get Involved on Campus

This year, the students and administration at WVJC Morgantown established our first Student Government Association. President Sean Wilfong has led the way and they have done many things in and outside of school. Over the summer, they participated in Kid’s Day and went to a Make-A-Wish Breakfast. They have scheduled a pizza party and costume contest for Halloween and are helping with Toys-for-Tots later on this year. The students are organizing a group to run in a 5k for charity and many other wonderful things.

The calendar for next year has not been planned, so it’s an open slate. Have something you’d love to see happen at WVJC? Wish you could make a bigger impact during your time here? There are numerous ways to get involved with SGA from serving on the SGA Council to simply signing up as a volunteer to help with events and participate in the out-of-school activities. The group is incredibly engaging and welcoming to any students who want to be a part of it.

Even if you decide you don’t want to take on an active role, consider shooting recommendations to dblankenship@wvjc.edu. You can also email Dustin at that address for more information on how to get involved with SGA.

Number 3 – Time Management

It is incredibly important to manage your time effectively when you are a student.

You need to develop a schedule that works for you. While yes, you will have assignment due dates and exams set by your instructors, you are in control of your own schedule outside of school. You will need to study, to work, to take care of family or personal issues, and all sorts of other things that come up. Creating a schedule that allows you to finish everything will be key in finding success as an on-ground student at WVJC. Another issue that sometimes arises with time management is tardiness. Plan ahead and leave early if the weather is particularly bad or if you know the WVU students are back in session. As the old saying goes, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Finally, Brittany Nuzzo, WVJC Morgantown’s Dean, is the best scheduler in the building. This lady knows everything there ever was to know about time management. If you are struggling with making a schedule and keeping it, take some time, go up to the third floor and have a conversation with her about this. You will not regret it!

Number 2 – Confidence

This one may seem short compared to the others, but confidence is key. As an on-ground student, it is really easy to become intimidated by your instructors or even your classmates when asked to speak up in class or present on a topic. It is important to remember that all of us are people and that your fellow students are here to learn and grow just like you, and your instructors are here because they are passionate about teaching and have a burning desire to help you achieve your dreams.

One of the most disheartening things is a student who is afraid to speak up. Engage with your classmates and your instructor during discussions. Stay after class and approach your instructor. Ask them questions about the subject matter.

Don’t let one bad exam score change your perspective. Sometimes we mess up. That is a fact. If you are working hard to be a good student and one score just doesn’t go your way, don’t let it get you down. Figure out what you did wrong and pledge to do better next time, then do it!

Believe in yourself and your abilities. You are enough. You are able. You can succeed. Show everyone else what you already know – that you are strong and your dreams are within your reach.

Number 1 – Understand “You”

This one is universal and is exactly the same as our online countdown because it’s too true. When speaking about education, everyone has their own learning style and you should never put yourself in a box. For example, if you are a “white board” person –meaning you like to make a large list on a white board and cross it off as you complete it –then by all means continue to do that in place of using a planner. Do what works for you. Each of these tips is broad so that you can determine what approach to it will help you find the most success.