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Student to Student: Tips for success





Connect with your faculty professors early on in your major. Having a faculty mentor is extremely helpful, and it opens up opportunities for research experience in their labs. It's also great to have that support system, but you have to reach out.

Do make use of office hours, professors genuinely enjoy conversing with you and helping you through any of your stumbling points.

Dulce Robles-Martinez, Class of 2020


Balancing and personalizing your class schedule is key to having a successful semester. Think about your school-life schedule and remember the additional time you will spend preparing for the lab and assignments.  

Peer relationships are so valuable!! Groups studying is such an effective strategy to enhance your learning. Find a friend or a group of people that you feel comfortable studying with. 

Also build relationships with the CSTEM faculty by going to office hours and asking questions in class.

 Shadi Paydar, Class of 2020




 These are all things I actually did that I found instrumental to my success: 

  1. Go to office hours: connecting with my professors was essential for me in many of my classes. Sometimes I would go with a list of prepared questions, sometimes I would just go and sit and do homework there and ask questions as they arose.

  2. Go to additional teaching sections (such as SI or CELS): this was extremely helpful in organic chemistry. 

  3. Sit in the front of class: it helps you to continue to pay attention even when you don't feel like it.

  4. For me, when I hit a concept that just didn't seem to stick in my head, I would get my textbook and READ ALOUD the challenging passage. Sometimes I would pretend to lecture this section to an invisible classroom. 

  5. I wrote on whiteboards alot. 

  6. Find who the high achievers are in your classroom, and study with them. Talking aloud about the material helped me a lot, and there were many times where my peers helped explain things to me. 

7. I got my first post-graduation job in large part because of my undergraduate lab experience: try to volunteer in a research lab on campus! 

Carly Hayter, Class of 2020

  • Plan to be on campus longer than just for your classes
  • Try to study/review after class with a group - make it enjoyable to go through the semester since you'll have to go through it either way
  • You are right where you are supposed to be; you belong.

Alicia Tovar, Master's student, Class of 2021