In any college or university setting, students should abide by certain “rules to live by” while completing specific requirements for graduation. By following the advice below, you can minimize the stress of being a newly independent freshman on campus. Here are the five things every student must do at the College of Staten Island:
1.) Complete the CLUE (College Life Unit Experience) Program
Don’t skip freshman orientation it is there you’ll learn about the CLUE Program. This program offers cultural and social activities on campus that are split into two categories, personal growth (PG) and co-curricular (CC). In order to sign up for your second semester, or once you have finished twelve credits, you must have completed four CLUEs two PG’s and two CC’s. Don’t wait for the last minute to get involved in these activities. They’re fun, especially if you bring a friend, and they’re sure to stimulate your brain this is college, after all.
2.) Take Core 100
Core is a class that is unique to College of Staten Island. Ask your friends in other schools about it and they’re likely to look confused, because they’ve never heard of it. The name itself isn’t self explanatory it essentially combines American History with English comprehension. That is, American History is taught, and tests are usually made up of essay questions. Core can be frustrating for students because it seems like the same American History class that is taken in high school (it essentially is just that). But the fact remains not only must you complete this course, you must do it before or while taking English 111. Hint: English 111 is also a requirement for graduation, and a prerequisite for almost all majors so be sure to take Core in your first semester!
3.) Surround yourself with intelligent people especially in the classroom
This is an open admission school, which means there is to be an array of personalities in each classroom, including disrespectful adults and apathetic attitudes towards education. Stay away from these people they will only drag you down. The college experience is truly what you make of it, and these students make it not worth the money. When you get to class, sit up front or in the middle, not in the back. Try to sit next to students who participate often and who have similar ideas as you. This will benefit you not only in general, but also specifically for group projects. Often, the group members assigned to a project are people sitting next to each other. The last thing you’ll want is to do a group project with unreliable classmates.
If you’re interested in attending the College of Staten Island, check out our article on Weekend Nights at CSI.
4.) Be patient with the bursar’s office
You’re going to spend a lot of time in the bursar’s office, and things might get tense. This is the space in which you’ll discuss student loans, or you’ll drop a class, or you’ll try to add a class, or you’ll fight about your remaining bill for the semester. Just take a deep breath and relax. Remember, the people employed at the bursar’s office are not against you they are here for you. During the beginning and end of each semester, this area will get crowded. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to sit and wait to get called; that’s probably what you’ll have to do. Also remember the employees of the bursar office are not always correct make sure you keep track of your billing and completed courses.
5.) Take advantage of the library
It really is a great place to study. Textbooks are expensive, but the library offers an alternative to buying them: borrow them! You can’t take textbooks out of the library, and you can only have them for two hours at a time, but you can renew them as many times as you’d like. Using this system saved me money. Being in the environment of the library pushed me to study. The third floor is where the stacks are, and it’s the best place to study the second floor is a great place to do important group projects, because it’s not as quiet as the stacks and not as loud as the first floor the first floor is a place to hang out quietly with friends between classes or to get started on group projects. If your home life is loud and hectic, come here. It can mean the difference between pass and fail, and it’s pretty darn cozy too!
Lisa Lee writes poetry and prose for fun. She attended the College of Staten Island and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.