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As a new school year begins, we want to offer our Top 10 List of things to do to get off to a good academic start:

(From the Students of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program)

Get to know your instructor early and keep lines of communication open throughout the semester.

1. Get to know your instructor early and keep lines of communication open throughout the semester. Seniors say that they wish they had known in their first year how important the relationships with their instructors can be. Instructors can be instrumental in helping you reach career goals and opening doors to jobs and graduate school. Make an effort to maintain these relationships during your career as a UAlbany student and also take a moment to thank them for their hard work and for any assistance they give you.

2. Understand and follow all of the course expectations and requirements listed in the course syllabus. Each of your instructors should have expectations for you to follow, both in terms of assignments and behavior in class. Be sure to ask for clarification if expectations are not clear.

Plan ahead and use time management strategies.

3. Plan ahead and use time management strategies. Good planning and time management skills are essential to success in the classroom. Plan out the semesterís tasks in advance, and stick to the plan. If you need information or help with study skills or time management, contact Academic Support Services at 442-5180.

4. Keep your commitments. By enrolling in a course you have made a commitment to learn and make the most of the experience. The instructor has made a commitment to share his/her knowledge with you, so honor those commitments by attending all classes on time, focusing on what is being taught, and completing all course requirements in a timely manner. If you are involved in a group project for a course, remember that the quality of your contribution affects others.

5. Communicate with your instructor and fellow students with the same respect that you would expect from others. This means listening to the instructor and other students without interrupting them and communicating with others in respectful spoken and written language. You donít have to agree with everything that is being said in the classroom, but donít attempt to resolve any disagreements and conflicts by using insulting or pejorative language.

Show respect to all.

6. Show respect to all. The classroom can be an exciting place to share information, thoughts, and opinions. To get the most from your class, make sure that only one person is speaking at a time, and show respect so that each person in the class will have the opportunity to fully express his or her points or opinions.

7. Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices while in the classroom unless these devices are needed as part of the class lecture (e.g. laptop computers). Your college career is a big investment of time and money as well as a pathway to your future success. Make the most of your learning in the classroom by staying focused and doing your best, and do not distract yourself or others by using cell phones or similar devices.

8. Leave all personal issues or concerns that might interfere with your learning at the classroom door. Because our lives can be very complicated, you may be coming to college with concerns about family, health, relationships, finances, and many other issues. When you come to class, make every attempt to put these issues aside and focus solely on the material that is being taught. If you find that it is too hard to put your personal concerns aside while you are in the classroom, free and confidential support is available at the University Counseling Center, located on the second floor of the Health and Counseling Building (442-5800).

Make healthy and responsible choices when it comes to alcohol and other drugs.

9. Make healthy and responsible choices when it comes to alcohol and other drugs. Results of a 2004 survey show that 94% of UAlbany students think ahead and consider their health and safety when they party, including choosing not to use alcohol at all or drinking non-alcoholic look-alikes. National studies of college students also show that students who misuse or abuse alcohol do not perform well in school Ė they miss classes and get lower grades, and they are more likely to not complete college. Remember to consider your health and safety if you choose to party.

10. If you have any concerns related to the class, speak to your instructor directly and immediately. If you are not comfortable approaching the instructor before or after class or if your concern is private, make an appointment or find out when he or she holds office hours.


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ResNet offers these tips for protecting your computer from hackers, viruses and worms bent on devouring your hard drive:

1. Turn off your computer when not in use. Itís the strongest protection you can provide for your PC. If you have a pathway open to the Internet, the Internet has a pathway into your computer.

Protect your computer from hackers, viruses and worms.

2. Use anti-virus software. When properly set up, anti-virus software will automatically update its virus database, providing you with the most current protection.

3. Use complex passwords on all your system accounts. This makes your system strong in protecting against hackers who can get in, write their own files and applications to your disk and delete yours!

4. Back up your computer regularly. Murphyís Law, due diligence, and acknowledging that anything that spins at 7,000 rpm, 24/7 will break down, sooner or later.

5. Donít open email or click internet links from unknown sources. There are numerous ways for mail to cause damage, so think about setting up your mail client in read-only text mode, and delete before reading any mail sent to you by an unknown source.

For help and more information visit UAlbanyís residential network website (ResNet).

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