Survival guide to IVCC: organization and resources

Kellsie Edgcomb, Assistant Opinion Editor

Let’s start with a little about me: I am a 24 year old, military-veteran, roller derby playing college student, and I work part time in the bookstore. I am very involved on campus: president of Phi Theta Kappa, IV Leader staff writer, College Democrats, will likely end up doing STEM Club things too and the list goes on… The first time I came to IVCC I was a fresh-faced 18-year-old and quite frankly was not ready for the reality of college. I was not an overly “smart” kid and never was placed in accelerated or honors programs in high school. I got by with a B average and was content. I was OK with this being my college reality the first time around. I never had to sit down and study until college, and I learned quickly how difficult that can be if your notes and school work is scattered and messy. College is not supposed to be “like high school”. Everything becomes your responsibility.

Instructors do not remind you endlessly about tests and assignments. College should be a balance of course work, extracurricular activities, and enjoying “adulthood.” This column’s goal is to entertain you and maybe even educate you on how to enjoy and be successful at IVCC. I am not an “expert” but I have certainly learned a lot while studying here. This time around, I am a STEM major and I am determined to maintain my GPA and transfer to a private university.

Part One on College Success: Get Organized!

Color-code your classes.

My chemistry book is black, so I made my chemistry notebook and folder black too. This makes it easy to reach into my bag and pull out everything I need for the class. If you prefer a binder, you can do that same thing with a binder. Maybe your text doesn’t have a color–that’s fine! Just get a notebook and folder that match in some way.

Maybe you really don’t like math: make your math class your favorite color or favorite character. That way you start class with something you like and can trick yourself into enjoying a small part of the class you don’t so much like. Keep this up all semester long! Make sure the worksheets and assignments end up in the correct folder! Many instructors do not accept late work, or they do but with letter-grade penalties. Do not end up having to dump the entire contents of your bag just to be unable to find the assignment.

Keep everything in your car, yes, even the things you don’t “need” for the day.

Most of us have different schedules every day. It can be complicated to keep all of that straight. Keep an extra, nice bag of everything you do not need for the day in your car. That way you have everything with you if you need it or get your days mixed up. My book bag has all my “essentials” for the day, but all my textbooks, extra notebooks, flashcards, etc. are always still on campus in my car. Class canceled? That’s a perfect time to read that assignment due tomorrow–go get the text.

Besides school work, it’s a great idea to keep extra clothes, an extra snack, or a few extra dollars in your car. It might rain; it might end up much warmer/colder than you originally planned. Maybe you will need a vending machine pick-me-up? Go get that extra dollar and raise your blood sugar! Already spent that dollar? Grab that extra granola bar.

Write it down; no seriously, you won’t remember; WRITE IT DOWN.

Instructors are not perfect: they might fail to remind you about that assignment, also, it’s not their responsibility to do so. If there is a quiz or assignment date/time written on the board when you walk in, write it down somewhere. By “somewhere” I do not mean in your notes. You will likely not go back through those notes. Get a planner and actually use it! Buy one from the bookstore that strikes your fancy and meets you needs, pick up a free one around campus, or use your phone/computer to set reminders.

Campus Resources

IVCC has school year-based student planners available all over campus. These books are free for all students. They have all the important dates already written in! The days campus is closed, withdraw deadlines, all athletic events (home and away), the yearly events like IVCC Spirt Day, final exam days, the dates class registration begins (both early registration and regular registration), and much more.

My personal favorite part of this years’ planner is that each week has something featured. A photo of women’s soccer, the contact information for the Student Help Desk, the Writing Center, etc. You can find them for free in the lobby near the Student Life Center, in the Learning Commons, and various other places around campus!