Resources for First Year Students - Tips from Past Students
Looking for a place to study? Here are some of our favorite places!
- DO NOT STUDY in your room.
- The second or third floor of the library is really great if you need someplace quiet.
- The Oakes Room in the library is great if you like studying around people and where it’s not too quiet.
- If you eat at weird times (when it’s not super busy) you can find a place in a corner and eat and study at the same time.
- If you really need silence and a place without distractions try the third floor of the library in the double decker desks- you’re basically in a cubby.
- When it’s nice out, you should try the picnic tables on the mall…but only if you are ok with distractions, like people playing frisbee and slack-lining.
- The first floor of the library is great for groups and you won’t get shushed too much if you want/need to talk to others.
- The President’s room in the library is great!
- When it’s nice out, go across College Avenue to the field down by the river (near the Alfond/Steamplant parking lot).
- The basement of Dunn Hall is my favorite!
- Neville lobby!
- The ornamental garden at the top of campus near DTAV…it’s beautiful and quiet!
- The union at night- after 5pm when the offices close it’s pretty peaceful.
- The basement of the residence halls. Most of them have at least one room that you can use- you just have to ask your RA where it is in some of the buildings.
- If you’re in the Honors college, go to Colvin Hall!
Trying to figure out how to manage your time and be more productive? Here are some tips from upper-class students!
- If you have a Mac, use the sticky notes program. You can even color code the notes- red for the really important things, yellow for less important, etc.
- Use a google calendar to remember your schedule and to plan things out. And if you can, sync it to your phone so that you get reminders 10 minutes before any event.
- Treat school like a 9-5 job. Study, work and go to classes Monday through Friday 9am-5pm and then you’ll always have your evenings and weekends free for other things like clubs, events and friends.
- Sticky notes all over your desk!
- To-do lists are great because you get a real sense of accomplishment every time you cross something off your list!
- Learn to prioritize things. That way you’re focusing on what needs to get done first (what’s due first) instead of something that isn’t due for 2 weeks.
- If you’re visual, buy a big whiteboard and put it over your desk. Then you can make all of your to-do lists and calendars on there.
- If you want to be less fancy, make a grid on your wall with tape and then use dry erase markers (just make sure they wipe off!).
- Get involved!! Too many students don’t do other things because they think they need to focus on classes. But I find that the busier I am, the better I am at managing my time. I think it’s because I know that I’m actually busy, and I love everything that I’m doing (classes, major, clubs) so I want to make sure I get it all done.
- As soon as you get your syllabi from your professors for each of your classes, write/add all of the important dates and deadlines into your planner/on your calendar. That way you don’t miss anything.
- Every day I make a to-do list for the day, including any assignments I need to work on for the next day, any meetings that I have, and any events that I want to go to. I stick this on my laptop (since it goes everywhere I go) and then I just make sure that I finish that to-do list before I go to bed each night.
- Don’t pretend that you’ll remember something if you don’t write it down- you will forget it. So always write everything down. And if you can, put it all in one place, like a planner or something, so it’s all in one place!
Things we wish we had known our first-year at UMaine…
- One thing I wish I had done more my first year was to go to help sessions and professors’ office hours for help. It was a combination of not thinking I needed help and also being too lazy that made me not go. But now that I am going, I know it would really have helped me back then.
- As an Education major, it’s really important to take action your first year. Be persistent and ask your advisor about signing up for your field experience, getting your fingerprints taken, and taking the Praxis. These are all necessary in order to apply for Teacher Candidacy, which you will hopefully do your second year. These are not things that you want to put off to the last minute because your second year is pretty stressful and a lot of that stress can be avoided if you do all of these things your first year or the summer before your second year.
- There is a Donald P. Corbett Hall (DPC) and a Corbett Hall. You’ll never have class in Corbett, so don’t go there.
- The library has a collaborative media lab which you can use for media projects.
- There are THREE Stevens Halls. Very confusing.
- Little Hall is set up like a maze. Always find your room before your first day of class so you don’t get lost!
- The rooms in the library all have names.
- Go on a library tour if you can. It’s amazing what is there that you’ll never know about.
- Lord Hall has free art supplies.
- The CCA has free shows for students throughout the year.
- Professors will help you, even if you think they’re mean.
- You can do paperwork before taking a class at home for the summer (and you actually should do it early so that you make sure it counts). This is called Domestic Study Away.
- You can’t pay your bill at Financial Aid. You pay your bill at the Bursar’s Office.
- The computer cluster in the basement of the union opens before the library, so if it’s early and you need to print something, go there instead.
- When it’s wicked hot out, you have to try the rope swing out past McDonald’s on College Avenue.
- Have an appointment with your advisor early in the year- don’t wait until you need to sign up for classes. They have to meet with all of their advisees before scheduling for classes so you don’t get much time with him or her, so it’s not a ton of help.
- Plan your four years of classes up front so that you have an idea of what you should be taking when. You can be flexible, but that way you kind of have an idea of what you’ll be doing and when.
- On cold days you can cut through a lot of buildings in order to stay warm as you make your way across campus.
Back to Resources for First Year Students