Is the behavior of the professors normal?
Professors report: These are the worst mistakes made by freshmen
Out of school and into university: Those who start studying are entering uncharted territory. For freshmen there are many questions, a lot of uncertainty and a lot to experience. Unfortunately, errors are part of it.
Some of the behavior of the newbies drives lecturers crazy year after year. Three professors talk about the most common blunders that happen to first-year students - and how they can be avoided.
Be poorly informed
University newbies often make the first mistake before their studies begin. There are always new courses. Those who do not take a close look at their desired subject area are often disappointed when they start their studies. "Many don't even know how their course is structured," says Andreas Schütze, professor of measurement technology at Saarland University. Some then drop out of their studies early. "It's frustrating for both sides," explains the professor.
If you take a close look at module manuals and course brochures beforehand, you can avoid nasty surprises. Most of the time, all information about studying is available online. Banal but useful: site plans of the university campus and the individual rooms can usually be found on the Internet. "I keep seeing students wandering around the buildings at the beginning," says Marius Grundmann, who teaches experimental physics at the University of Leipzig. If you check in time, you will save yourself the orienteering run on campus and the excuse for being late.
At most universities there are plenty of offers for freshmen with preliminary courses, introductory events, library tours and first-year weekends. The professors advise taking advantage of this diversity. "You can't have been too much in any introductory event," explains Thorsten Friedrich, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Freiburg. During the appointments, organizational matters are clarified and first acquaintances with fellow students are made - important when looking for study groups and partners for presentations later.
Too much night life
Even if it is difficult - "I definitely wouldn't be partying all the time," advises Andreas Schütze. The initial phase is extremely important. Those who drop out here sometimes cannot keep up for the entire semester. Not only when partying, but also with part-time jobs, freshmen are better to hold back. "At least for the first semester you shouldn't work on the side. You need time to groove yourself," explains Schütze. A good solution later is a job as a student assistant. "You are spatially connected and you still learn something," he explains.
Yes, lectures can be exhausting and boring. They become even more exhausting when half of the people are only there pro forma. "Instead of bothering you, you can do the material at home," suggests Marius Grundmann. Students who use their lecture time for their breakfast or catch up on the sleep of the last night of partying might as well stay at home. "If I was not interested in a lecture, I did it that way during my studies," he says.
Don't ask questions
Asking questions yes, annoying no, is the motto here. "You have to find the balance between unnecessary questions and no questions at all," says Schütze. Then freshmen should also find the right contact person: "It doesn't do any good if people ask me about their internship. There are internship managers for that," explains lecturer Friedrich. For technical questions, however, the professors are the right addressees. For organizational matters or the password for the university computer system, however, students should first speak to their fellow students or the appropriate advice center.
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