Some timely reminders to help students be successful at every stage of their college career
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Each year at the University of Iowa can bring different challenges as students grow, discover, and change. Take a look at the tips below that correspond to your year to find out about scholarships, job and recreation opportunities, and much more that’s available to you at every stage of your time on campus.

First-Year Students

Job and Internship Tip: Whether you’re looking to build experience or just help pay the bills, you can fit student jobs around your busy schedule. Find the perfect campus or near-campus part-time job by using, the UI’s online recruiting system, or check out the Fall Job and Internship Fair (Sept. 27), where employers will be ready to talk with you or accept an application. Other job and internship listings are available on the Pomerantz Career Center website.

spring internship fair
The job and internship fair is an excellent place to network and find experiences that will expand your CV.

Student Success Tip: With so much going on, it’s also important to keep track of what’s expected of you in the classroom. The Academic Advising Center recommends you review all syllabi for your courses and write down due dates, assignments, and other important items in your planner. Advisors can help you plan classes and connect you to resources you didn’t even know you needed. Make an appointment with an advisor in MyUI under the Advising Appointment button, or find an advisor in your college.

Fitness Tip: If you think the weight room at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is crowded, remember that there also are weights and cardio machines at the Field House, Fitness East, and the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. Check them out.

Healthy Relationships Tip: The university offers a variety of opportunities for students to help create a safe and respectful community, including support groups, workshops and trainings, student groups, internships, and campus initiatives. Learn more at the Ending Violence at Iowa website.

Mental Health Tip: Each year, about 85 percent of students using counseling services report that counseling significantly helped them do better personally and academically. If you’re struggling, people on campus care and want to help. Consider making an appointment with University Counseling Services.

Second-Year Students

Scholarship Tip: Many scholarships are available based on grades, interests, or background, and the university’s Iowa Scholarship Portal has a tool that automatically directs you to scholarships for which you might be eligible. Applications start opening in early September and continue throughout the academic year, so visit often.

Finance Tip: Living off campus means you might be responsible for rent, utilities, and other new expenses. Financial Literacy Services can help students budget to make sure money lasts the entire semester. Staff is available for one-on-one meetings; see how to make an appointment on the Financial Literacy Services website.

Student Success Tip: If you’re having second thoughts about your major, or if you’re having trouble picking a major, don’t fret. You can sign up to talk to an academic or career advisor through MyUI under the Advising Appointment button, or you can take an interest assessment to help you identify your values, skills, and abilities. Also, if you haven’t visited any of your instructors’ office hours, stopping in just to say hello can help you later when you have questions. If you need a letter of recommendation in the future, it will be important for your instructors to get to know you.

sunlight through trees at macbride nature area
The Macbride Nature Recreation Area is a relaxing place to get out of town and recharge your batteries.

Outdoors Tip: Hiking, camping, and boating opportunities are nearby. Think about getting some friends together at the Macbride Nature Recreation Area. They even offer cross-country skiing in the winter and, besides the outdoors activities, you can hang out with owls and other raptors at the Raptor Center.

Third-Year Students

Credit Tip: For students entering their third year, now is a good time to start thinking about building credit. Financial literacy specialists are available to help students pull a credit report, talk through what it means, and figure out ways to build credit responsibly.

Student Success Tip: Graduating in four years is an important way to minimize debt. Do you know when you are going to graduate? Have you mapped out your remaining semesters? Academic advisors are available to help you plan your schedule. Find the advisor for your college here.

Study Tip: You might think you know all the best study spots on campus, but check out this list to see if you’ve missed any.

Fun For-Credit Course Tip: Hiking, kickboxing, scuba diving, winter camping, yoga, and beginning gardening—you can do all these for academic credit by taking a Lifetime Leisure Skills course. Find more offerings here.

Alcohol Safety Tip: Did you know that cold, clammy skin can be a symptom of alcohol poisoning? Red Watch Band is a course that teaches students CPR, alcohol bystander training, and other ways to protect yourself and your friends from negative alcohol-related experiences. Learn more here.

Fourth-Year Students

Loan Repayment Tip: One of the worst things you can do with your finances is ignore them. Financial Literacy Services is happy to help students plan for their future, whether that means loan repayment, planning for graduate school, or budgeting for life after graduation in general. Check out a loan repayment calculator and learn more here.

Graduation Tip: The Office of the Registrar offers an easy-to-follow graduation checklist for students preparing to graduate. It helps you remember everything required to graduate, including that you have to apply for your degree. Read the graduation checklist here or download the UI Graduation App, which contains the checklist and has all the information you need about commencement.

glasses and sleeping person's arm sprawled across bed
Having trouble sleeping? Check out Refresh, a free, online program that can help.

Sleep Tip: It’s easy to fall into the trap of staying up late or pulling all-nighters to study, but human beings only function at 50 percent to 70 percent efficiency without adequate sleep. Refresh is a free, online program that teaches general sleep skills and guides students through using a custom sleep-improvement plan. You could get better sleep tonight.

Final Classes Tip: Graduating in four years is an important way to minimize debt. As your college career ends, make sure you have everything you need to graduate on time and that you’re checking off everything on your college “bucket list.” Advisors can help you square away your final course requirements and help you find time for that elective you’ve been meaning to take. This may be your last chance to enjoy college life, so take advantage while you can.