SAU Buzz

Success from the start

by Sharon Adasme
Posted on Sep 13, 2019

Attending a new school is usually difficult and overwhelming: a bigger campus, new classes, tougher professors. But, some faculty and staff say it's not as hard as new students think to succeed. 

Dr. Ann Preston is a communication professor at St. Ambrose. She considers her advice "old school." 

"Students should read the chapters as listed in the syllabi, and students should check Blackboard frequently," she said. 

She advises students to begin writing or creative assignments immediately, instead of procrastinating until close to the due date, especially when in a group project. She said just taking the time to look through what is required and expected can go a long way in ensuring success. 

"Everything takes longer than we expect it to," Preston said. 

Dr. Nathan Windt agreed with Preston. He conducts the University Chorale and Chamber Singers vocal ensembles. He said time is key to student success. 

"Allow yourself plenty of time to complete your work in a given semester. In my experience, nearly everything good that happens takes lots of time and patience and lots of effort," he said. "To take a line from Toy Story 2, 'You can't rush art!'" 

Every student studies in different ways. Some study with notecards while others study a little every day to keep up with vocabulary and for memorization. Whatever works best for the individual is better, but new information always takes time to sink in and be retained. 

Fritz Dieudonne gave another piece of advice for new students that focuses on life outside the classroom. 

"I would encourage all students to not become overwhelmed with the academic demands of the semester and to find time to relax and have fun," she said. 

It can be easy to get caught up in grades, readings and homework since all of them are vital to succeeding academically. However, St. Ambrose has so many opportunities for students to branch out of their comfort zones, try new clubs, meet new people and share new experiences. All these opportunities create the SAU experience and teach valuable lessons that can lead to success in the future.