At IPR, we want you to be successful and prepared for the upcoming quarter!
Whether you’re straight out of high school or going back to college, we hope these tips will be helpful to you as you complete your degree.
Your classes will likely require hands-on projects, papers, and exams. This means you should have a place at home that will maximize your ability to focus. While some people are able to work at a busy cafe or in a buzzing living room, you might feel more comfortable in a quiet space for your schoolwork. You may already have a room where you can work quietly at home!
In addition to studying at home, you might be able to find areas to study on campus or around town. We have several locations that you may study, both on our Minneapolis and Edina campuses. Study better with background music? Stop by our library on the 3rd floor at our Minneapolis campus! Prefer working in silence? You can also stop by the many Hennepin County Library locations to focus on your homework distraction-free. The Minneapolis Central Library is located two blocks away from our downtown Minneapolis location!
If you don’t have a spare room you can dedicate to work, do the next best thing: Remove yourself from in-the-moment distractions. Shut a door. Set clear boundaries with family members or roommates, such as setting up blocks of time where you ask that you not be disturbed.
Due dates. Handouts. Syllabi. There’s a lot to keep track of as a student. Find an organization system that works best for you.
Surprisingly, despite being in a day where there’s an app for everything, a paper planner, whiteboard, or to-do list often works better since it’s always there. Sometimes with online planners, they can become “out of sight, out of mind.”
If your course materials are online, print out a copy of some of the more important documents, such as a class syllabus. Also, since many of your courses may be related you may wish to keep work you’ve done throughout the program handy.
Backing up your projects via external hard drives can be very helpful, but it is also great to back up your information via the cloud if possible. Perhaps create folder for each class in a cloud-based system like DropBox or Google Drive to ensure you don’t lose them.
It can be easy to procrastinate reading and assignments, but try not to fall into the habit of waiting until the last minute. That not only adds pressure, but also means you might not have time to ask for help. Instead, block out some time each day to study or work on upcoming assignments and projects. This keeps you in the learning mode, and the consistency will help you stay on top of your work. You may find yourself making several revisions or edits for projects, so make sure to factor in time for these changes.
Find Your Voice: Communicating with Instructors
Your IPR instructors are here for you! It’s important to communicate your needs and concerns to them. If you don’t understand something in class, ask questions. There is no shame in asking questions!The discussion could help you, as well as other classmates learn a concept better. If you’re unsure of something on the syllabus or in an assignment, reach out for assistance ahead of any deadlines. Many others may have the same question.
Communicating doesn’t just relate to your homework! Look ahead at the calendar: Let your instructor know as early as possible potential conflicts such as scheduled appointments or trips. Being open and honest with instructors can help to relieve pressure, but also helps build a better relationship with instructors in your program.
If you haven’t had the chance to sit down with your program chair, the new quarter is a great opportunity to get in some face time! Swing by with questions about your classes or program. You will also be meeting with them for class registration later in the quarter.
Every student is different: It’s all about finding the study strategies and learning methods that work for you! IPR’s student services team is here to help you succeed and offers tutoring opportunities for your classes. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming tutoring sessions for Spring 2019!