One of the MANY beauties at NC State is the ability for students to get involved on/off-campus. The university offers over 600 clubs and organizations. Clubs and organizations such as Engineering, Accounting, Dancing, Anime, and so many more are offered through NC State. For me, this was a great way to make friends, keep interests from high school and remain active on NC State’s campus throughout later years as a student.
As a student at NC State, I found it super easy to join clubs and organizations on campus. I used online resources to research opportunities on campus and contact organization leaders. In addition, I attended many events on campus throughout Wolfpack Welcome Week. One specific event highlighted the different opportunities within the involvement at NC State. These events were helpful to get acquainted with campus, as well as make new Wolfpack friends. Although involvement may look a bit different this year due to COVID-19, organizations on campus are working to provide alternative ways to meet and keep students active during this time.
The Importance of Involvement
Through student involvement on campus, I have valued the networking aspect. When joining a club or organization, students are given the opportunity to meet people they may not have met otherwise. The group of people learns to grow together and form a small community within the large community at NC State. In addition, the involvement of NC State connects you with the faculty on campus as well. Through involvement in the college, you create connections with advisors, professors, and others on campus. These networking factors helped me feel at home on campus and gave me a sense of belonging.
Finally, being involved helped me find new passions within each organization I joined. Being a student can be tough, therefore, finding happiness outside of academics is so important throughout campus life. As a senior at NC State, I have found the importance of taking time for yourself and involving yourself in activities that make you happy.
Graduating from a high school of only 100 students in my class, coming to a large university such as NC State was a major adjustment for me. Many other students face this and similar challenges because going to college is an entirely new experience. While I loved every moment of my first year, I wish I had been given a list of tips and tricks to help make the transition a bit more smooth. Talking about these tips with your student can be the difference between them getting an “A” versus a “C” in a class joining an organization that they’re passionate about, and loving all that the first year has to offer!
1. Despite what others may say, your first year matters.
This is probably one of my biggest tips for any incoming student. This is not limited to academics, but most definitely applies to one’s social behaviors as well. While there may be a general assumption that the classes you take your first year are easy, most NC State students will tell you that is incorrect. The structure of classes changes drastically from high school to college, something many new students are not expecting. Most professors will not tell you to pay attention and turn in your assignments, students are expected to be diligent and do it themselves without reminders. And most importantly, students’ GPAs are cumulative. If for whatever reason your student does very poorly in their classes their first year and exceeds sophomore through senior year, those first year grades can still bring down their overall GPA. Similarly, poor decisions will follow students through college and their professional career as well. It’s essential that your student makes smart choices and remembers that their actions will have short- and long-term consequences.
2. Get involved with an organization or community on campus.
A problem many first-year students face is feeling isolated on campus, especially if they are from out-of-state and may not know very many people. One of the best ways to combat this is to become involved on campus. There are over 700 different clubs and organizations that fit any students interests, whether it’s a Harry Potter themed Quidditch club, fashion design club, Japanese language club or anything and everything in between. Your student can find a list of all of them through Student Involvement’s Get Involved website. If Fraternity and Sorority Life interests your student, there are many different organizations with varying interests and levels of commitment for both men and women. This includes panhellenic, national , multicultural, and interfraternity councils that each have their own unique traits and focuses.
3. Use the resources that surround you.
Parents, the money that is paid for your student’s tuition goes towards so much more than just your student’s classes! NC State offers a multitude of different resources to assist students with whatever they may need, including assistance with academics, health or involvement. For example, last year I struggled to make my resume more concise and was terrified of the interview process. With the help of the Career Development Center, not only was I able to improve my resume, but I was also able to experience a mock interview to help me feel more confident for my actual internship interviews. Another major resource is the Student Health Center that has its own doctoral and pharmaceutical staff to help your student with health-related needs. Visit https://www.ncsu.edu/campus-life/ for more information on the many other resources NC State has to offer.
Overall, NC State University provides a vast amount of opportunities for students on and off campus. These organizations and resources are great ways to get involved and meet new people. The pride of NC State can be found in any of these organizations and the best time to make your mark is NOW.
Online learning can be easy for some and prove to be more difficult for others. However, during this time, online learning is 100% in effect at NC State. As students, it is our job to do our best to make it work for us. Here are some tips that can help lead to a successful online semester!
– Have a dedicated study space. While it may seem nice to do homework or watch a lecture while laying in bed, you are more prone to distractions or falling asleep. Having a dedicated study space allows you to zone in on the work that you need to get done.
– Utilize calendars. Get in the habit of writing down when assignments are due and scheduling when you plan on completing them.
– Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor or other classmates when you need help. Chances are that you are not the only one with a similar question. It also lets the professor know that you are invested in their class which could go a long way for you.
– Treat your online courses like a “real” class. Discipline yourself and sit down to focus on your work as if you were sitting in class. It’s important to hold yourself accountable.
– Make note of major assignments on your syllabus’. Write them down or highlight them so that they don’t sneak up on you.
– Figure out how you learn best. Do you work best in the morning? Or at night? With or without music? What are some study strategies that have worked for you in the past and how can you still implement them while learning from home?
– Academic and Student Affairs here at NC State has posted helpful strategies and resources to look into. You can see those here: https://dasa.ncsu.edu/academics/keep-learning/
Stay safe and go Pack!
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made this semester unlike any other semester here at NC State. The new online format presents many challenges for the entire Pack family when it comes to getting the real Pack experience. The ability for students to fully explore the resources available to Pack families has been hindered. Resources such as clubs, public events, and educational events are now completely gone or adapted to a virtual environment. These tough times have rightfully worried many families, and we thank you for continuing to support the students.
Despite the present times, NC State still has many resources available for students and parents to look forward to! Once the campus fully reopens, lots of big events will be in the making. For starters, after months of social distancing, a great way to get involved is by attending a football game with your student. Football games are by far the most popular attraction for families and never fail to deliver a great time. For information about future football games and tickets, please follow this link: https://gopack.com/sports/2020/6/22/student-ticket-information.aspx
Additionally, students can look forward to all of the exciting clubs and activities that are typically available during this time. There is always something fun and unique happening at Talley Student Union, such as dance competitions, karaoke night, music concerts, and many more. Basketball games and band concerts are also great events to attend with your child. Although lots of club events have been reduced, there are still many clubs available that are actively working in the virtual format. To see the database for NCSU clubs, please follow this link: https://getinvolved.ncsu.edu/organizations
The pandemic is not the Pack experience. The Pack experience enriches students’ lives with the necessary tools and skills to build a bright future for themselves, and prepares its exceptional students for a life filled with promise and success. NC State is truly a great university, and has pushed myself and many other students to reach our full potential as the future leaders of our generation. NC State has given me the opportunity to expand my horizons like never before, while granting me the tools to build my own future, and I am confident NC State will do the same for your student.
This summer, in the pursuit of a good internet connection and a quiet work environment for my virtual internship, I lived with my partner in his apartment. As nice as it was to spend the summer with him, there were some lessons we had to learn: how to better communicate, split chores, and accommodate each other’s dietary needs. Here’s an overview of how it went and some lessons I learned over the summer!
One of the best parts about living together over the summer was that I had someone to spend time in quarantine with. We picked up hobbies together, such as laughing at bad reality TV shows and taking long (masked) walks in local parks, talking about anything and everything. Being able to work from home together was also enjoyable, especially because we had similar work schedules and would start and end at roughly the same time. Essentially, I knew that if I overslept, he would be able to wake me up for work.
Another great thing about living with my partner was that I didn’t have to worry about him and how he was doing! With so much uncertainty in the world, especially with COVID-19 and mental health concerns, it put me at ease knowing that he was doing well.
Honestly, it didn’t go too badly for us at all – we respected each other’s space when we needed to, only got into one real argument, and managed to make things work. However, I know not everyone can say the same, and I know that being cooped up in the same apartment all the time can amplify the differences that you and your partner have.
One thing that we did struggle with at the beginning of the summer was navigating alone time. How do you find space and time for yourself when you share a one-bedroom apartment? For us, we alternated schedules. I am more of a morning person, so getting up half an hour early to get ready for work, watch the sun rise, and make a big pot of coffee was a great opportunity to get some personal time in. He is more of a night owl and would stay up late to catch up on his YouTube subscriptions or go for quiet walks around his apartment complex.
Even though we did pretty well when living together, there were a few adjustments we needed to make, mostly related to communication, chores, and personal space.
Communicating with each other was definitely the hardest part of adjusting. Being able to express frustration about smaller issues, like the coffee cups accumulating on his desk or the way I turn the TV volume up too early in the morning, provided a way for us to start talking about deeper topics, like the foods we don’t like, the chores we hate, and the things that irk us about the other person. Being able to communicate in a stress-free environment, when the other person was ready to talk, helped us talk through a lot of petty disagreements this summer.
Overall, this summer was a great experience, and I feel like we’ve grown stronger together!
As a senior at NC State, I’ve had various living situations throughout my time as a student. While each year brought different experiences and challenges, I wouldn’t change a thing.
My freshman year I lived in Carroll Residence Hall, part of the Tri-Towers on the main campus. Carroll is a suite-style building, therefore I shared a dorm with my roommate along with our suitemates. Lucky for us, she and I got along extremely well and were the best of friends. Our personalities meshed perfectly, and we had similar sleep and class schedules. One of the most important things we shared was respect for one another’s space. We kept our belongings on our own sides and agreed to keep our shared space clean. However, we did struggle to connect and get along with our suitemates. We quickly realized that the few issues and awkward interactions we had all came down to one thing: lack of communication. Openly communicating with one’s roommates or suitemates is the number one thing I learned through this experience. To solve this issue, we created a group message between all of us. If we ever had a problem with something, we found time to discuss it in person and come to a resolution. We never had disagreements large enough to need our resident advisor’s help; however, RA’s are a wonderful resource to use regardless.
My junior and senior year, I moved into off-campus housing and lived in a house with three other roommates. While I now have my own bedroom and bathroom, the skills I gained from my dorm experience still reflect in my interactions today. When living off-campus, open communication is almost even more important. You have to deal with larger scale issues, such as bills, leases, groceries, chore schedules and more. It gives you a real taste of “adulting” and puts your organization levels to the test.
Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, candid communication between roommates is essential, whether you’re sharing a room or not. At the beginning of the semester, my roommates and I sat down with each other and discussed our expectations of one another. This was done to ensure everyone was on the same page, felt comfortable and had common understanding. Gratefully, with this shared mentality, each of us have remained safe and healthy over the past few months.
Living with roommates is a part of the college experience. I learned more than I ever could imagine and am immensely grateful for the wonderful roommates I have had thus far. For more information on housing options at NC State, check out the University Housing website.
Adjusting to virtual classes can be a difficult transition. Online classes are not as interactive, and it is very easy to become distracted. This makes staying on task and paying attention even more important. It can often feel as if virtual courses give out more work, so time management has become an even more important tool as students do not have the enforced structure of a classroom environment. This makes it easy for students to want to lay in bed and listen to lectures or a zoom call but not be paying attention. It is important for your student to create a routine and to make sure they are attentive during class. Having a separate, dedicated space to study in is a helpful tool that can lessen distractions and help prepare your student’s mind to be ready to learn. Keeping to a schedule, managing time, and utilizing campus resources are very important, especially during this time when it is so easy to not pay attention during lectures.
Take Advantage of Resources
This transition to online learning is not an easy one, but there are plenty of resources available to help. The NC State Academic Success Center is a great tool that offers online tutoring services, peer mentoring, and writing consulting. They offer weekly tutoring groups, or one on one sessions. I have personally used their tutoring services before, and I have really benefited from having a peer help explain material in a different way.
The NC State Libraries are also here to help your student! They are open and can provide spaces to students that are near campus, or they can offer virtual resources. The library has technology lending programs where students can rent out technology for a long-term period of up to a month. Students can also request PDFs of textbook chapters they need for class. The library has a full and exciting schedule of virtual events and workshops to keep students involved and engaged.
The switch to online classes is stressful, and the NC State Counseling Center is a fantastic resource. The Counseling Center has resources for students dealing with any mental health issues, and there are counseling groups for a variety of topics including one addressed as “Coping with COVID.” Making sure your student’s mental health and stress levels are healthy is important and will help them be successful in their studies. The Counseling Center also has helpful tips on Time Management.