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Academics in college are much different than academics in high school, but have no fear!
Your academic advisor is here to help. They won’t pick out your classes for you or tell you what you should be when you grow up, but they can make suggestions based on your goals and interests. To get the most out of the advising process, you need to take an active role in seeking out support and advice. For more information on academic advising, visit your college’s website.
For all things academic, check out the University Registrar’s website, the University Catalog, Student Academic Advising, online learning resources, and all the ways we’re enhancing the undergraduate academic experience.
Congratulations on making the bold, life-changing decision to attend Virginia Tech! It is an honor to welcome you to the Hokie Nation. Being the first in your family to attend college is phenomenal and should instill great pride within you and your family! Here are some things we think are important for you to know as you embark on your new journey:
- Learn college terms: Please visit our resources page to review a helpful list of college terms that you will need to know
- Establish both academic and personal goals: Identify both academic and personal goals you want to accomplish during your first year of college and develop an action plan to achieve them. Refer to your goals frequently to help you stay on track. Personal goals are critical in supporting academic objectives.
- Begin with the end in mind: Think through your desired outcomes before starting your college journey. Once you have determined your desired outcomes, establish a clear agenda, create opportunities, and set goals that will lead you to those outcomes.
- Map out your degree plan: Each major has its prerequisites and graduation requirements available for review. Once you select a major, plan out each semester with the courses required for your major. Contact an advisor within your department to make sure that you are taking the correct courses.
- Create a weekly plan: There are 168 hours in a week. If you deduct weekends and sleep, you are left with 85 hours per week to allocate. Plan out each day on a weekly basis using a planner (paper or digital calendar). Allocate time for study, class time, extracurricular activities, and self-care (exercise, meditation, etc.).
- Connect with faculty and staff in your department: It is important to introduce yourself and build relationships with both faculty and staff in your department.
- Connect with First-Generation Student Support: We invite you to create community through programs with First-Generation Student Support. Please visit our website to learn about programming that we offer during the fall and spring semesters for first-generation college students.
- Through Student Athlete Academic Support Services, each athletic team is assigned an academic counselor who coordinates academic support efforts for individual team members. Visit the SAASS staff web page to identify your assigned SAASS counselor.
- Visit the Sport Practice Time Blocks web page and locate your team’s practice times. You should avoid those times when making your class schedules with your academic advisors during Orientation.
We’re big fans of well-rounded students.
Regardless of your major, you’ll need to complete the Pathways to General Education. These courses give you a broad base of knowledge across multiple disciplines and impact creative and intellectual engagement; civic, personal, and social responsibility; and lifelong learning.
University Libraries gives you access to thousands of journals, ebooks, books, and periodicals, and you don’t even have to be in the library to use most of them. With just the click of a mouse, you can have scanned copies of materials emailed to you.
Speaking of books, you can get your textbooks (and all kinds of other things) at the on-campus University Bookstore and off-campus Volume Two Bookstore. As an added bonus, whenever you buy anything from them, a portion of the funds goes to the university to be used for student purposes. When you shop there, you support your school. (And you can use your Hokie Passport!)
As a global land grant university, Virginia Tech is committed to improving the human condition worldwide and educating students who will understand their connection to fellow humans everywhere and excel at working collaboratively on solutions to global problems. Visit the Global Education Office to learn more about possible future study abroad opportunities.
The Student Success Center supports the academic success of all Virginia Tech undergraduate students. They offer tutoring, seminars, courses, and academic coaching to help students develop the skills and attitudes they need to succeed and become effective, self-motivated learners. Check out their website to find out how the Student Success Center can help you achieve your academic goals!
Know that it is okay to not know what you want to do.
University Studies is the designated major for students who are undecided about their college and major, want to explore several majors, or are preparing to apply to a restricted program. Hang out in this major while you explore what Virginia Tech has to offer and work with advisors to find something that sparks (and holds) your curiosity.
And you don’t have to wait to connect with Career and Professional Development. They have resources to help you learn more about yourself, choose a major, and get a start in post-grad planning.