To have a successful first semester, start working before classes begin!
  1. Complete your records. Make sure that you have sent AP/IB/CLEP scores and final transcripts (high school and/or college) to the UMBC Admissions Office. Check your Transfer Credit Report and Degree Audit, to make sure that everything is appearing correctly.
  2. Set up a planner. Your schedule at UMBC may be radically different from what you have experienced in the past. You may end up with a class schedule that is more (or less) spread out, or classes that are late in the evening or only once per week. Much more of your learning will be taking place outside the classroom – through readings, homework, online assignments, and group work – so using a planner will help you keep track of your responsibilities. Consider using a web-based planner that can send you reminder emails or sync up with the calendar on your mobile device, like the Google Calendar function that comes with your UMBC Gmail account.
  3. Get your books. One of the reasons that students most often give when explaining poor performance in classes is the fact that they didn’t secure the materials that are required for the course. Yes, textbooks and materials are expensive, but think of it this way… would you rather pay $300 to have what you need to succeed in a class, or $1200 to re-take the same class in the summer (or even more if failure delays your graduation by a semester)? Look into used books, e-books, and book rentals to keep costs down.
  4. Map out your days. Take a look at a campus map, and figure out where all of your classes meet. Think about where and when you’ll probably eat your meals.  Hint: if you can avoid eating lunch during Free Hour (Noon-1) on MWF, do it! You can avoid long lines and crowded tables if you can eat a half-hour earlier or later!
  5. Check out the fun stuff! Life at UMBC is not just about the books. Look into the clubs, organizations, and activities that are available on campus. The Campus Life and Recreation at the RAC web sites can help you identify a list of groups to check out during Welcome Week’s Involvement Fest.

Download the Five Things To Do in August checklist here!