By Tayiba Ahmed
Most students are eager to do well and make themselves and their families proud. However, sometimes it is difficult, especially if you are a new student, to know exactly what to do in order to get the best results from your university experience, to get the A’s that everyone want and should get.
First, it is important to understand that at American University of Sharjah (AUS), doing well does not mean just doing well in your studies. AUS provides it students with ample opportunities to take advantage of, and so, to truly be doing well here would mean to successfully take advantage of these opportunities, along with doing well in your classes.
The first thing you should do, especially if you are a new student, is explore. Get to know what opportunities AUS offers to its students, and sign up for the clubs and organizations that interest you. Maybe in the future you’ll decide that you would like to be a part of the club committee or take part in leadership programs. Also, get to know other students. It would be extremely beneficial for you if you are able to meet older students from your major because they understand what you’re experiencing, and can give you appropriate advice and guidance. Mingling with these seasoned students can also help you adjust and settle in. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Secondly, to do well in classes, it’s important to ask the previous students about the professors. Every professor has a different approach to teaching, and so it’s helpful to get a better understanding of what the professor expects of his or her students. Also, have a look at the previous work done by students during the course to get a better understanding of what the professor needs from you. Go through the syllabus provided by the professor and understand that even if something carries a small percentage of the grade, it matters for your final grade at the end of the semester. To get a good final grade in a course, just working at the end of the semester is not enough; you have to put in effort from the beginning of the term, from day one. Giving your best on every quiz, every test, every assignment, every project, midterms and especially your finals.
However, sometimes you might feel like no matter how much effort you put into your work, you’re not getting the grades you want. If that happens, don’t be afraid of approaching the professors. Ask them to go through your work with you and point out your areas of weakness that you need to work on. Most professors are willing to help their students do better. Also, it is extremely important that you show up to class, all classes, and to ask questions if there are certain things you are unsure of. Not only can attendance and participation affect your grades at AUS, but they also show the professors that you are putting in the effort and are taking their courses seriously. AUS also has an Academic Support Center that offers various workshops that focus on personal responsibility; time management and procrastination; study skills and note-taking; and other similar topics. Students having trouble with studies or with adjusting to university life can always attend these workshops. The center also offers workshops aimed specifically at students in probation.
You can make use of the Writing Center which runs various writing workshops throughout the semester. There is also the AUS Student Learning and Counseling Services that will be available for you to offer comprehensive support to enhance your success at AUS.
Most importantly, though, do not stress out. Sometimes things may not work out the way you’re expecting them to, but it is important that you be patient and not give up. Take part in other activities held on campus to relax and reduce your stress. If there’s something you’re interested in—such as photography, painting or sports for instance—pursue that as well. There are also various competitions that you can be a part of. Having all these experiences on your CV and portfolio can really help you.
While you’re working towards doing well at AUS, you also need to remember to enjoy the university experience. Although these might seem like two things that don’t go hand in hand, it’s important to realize that with proper time management, it is definitely possible. Plan your timely wisely and you can have the best of both university worlds.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah