Start Strong At OU

Between classes, homework assignments, class projects, appointments and participating in social activities, things can get very busy, very fast. Use this section of the Golden Grizzly Guide to help make the transition from high school to college a little easier.

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Academic Support

In addition to class participation, homework and group assignments, there are many other components to your learning experience. Take advantage of these important resources starting in your first year to set you up for success.

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First Year Advising Center

All first-year students are required to meet with their adviser once in the fall semester. Prepare for your appointment by making a list of questions for your adviser and reviewing your degree plan.

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Understanding Your Schedule

Sometimes, you might need to make a change to your schedule. Use this section to review the process of adding, dropping and withdrawing from courses and how it can affect you financially and academically.

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Financial Aid

Now that you’ve started classes, it is equally important to understand your financial responsibilities. Whether you are receiving financial aid or paying out of pocket, review OU’s financial policies and deadlines. The fall semester is also the time to get a head start on your FAFSA for next year.

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Campus Connections

There are many ways to get connected to the OU community outside of the classroom. Whether you enjoy sports, student government, working or volunteering, there is something for everyone. Challenge yourself to become involved in at least one extracurricular activity.

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Major/Career Exploration

Over one-third of OU graduates change their major at least once. We know that selecting a major is not an easy task and that is why we’re here to help select the major and career that best fits you. Through appointments with your adviser, you will explore your interests, personality, skills and values to help make the right decision.

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Thinking Ahead: Sophomore Year

It’s not too early to begin thinking about volunteering in your community, studying abroad or completing an internship with a major corporation. Consider opportunities that will positively impact your college experience and future career goals.

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Monitoring Your Grades

College is different than high school in many ways. In college, there are no progress reports; rather you are responsible for knowing and tracking your grades in each course.

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Utilize Moodle

Many courses use an online system called Moodle, which allows you to receive information about class assignments, grades and upcoming projects.

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View Faculty Feedback

Your professor may provide feedback via email on how you can improve in a course. Review their recommendations to get back on the right track.

Challenging Courses

Many new students need academic support in their first semester. Take advantage of resources to help you get back on track.

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Academic Coaching

Looking to develop study strategies to help boost your success in the classroom? Been guilty of procrastinating in your classes? Improve your study habits and more!

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Seek Tutoring Support

The Academic Success Center offers tutoring for most 1000- and 2000- level courses. Seek help early and often.

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Writing Center

The Writing Center offers services that will help you ace your next paper. Although they won’t write the paper for you, they will help you develop thoughts that will be music to your professor’s ears.

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Take Care Of Yourself

Learn how time and stress management can help ease anxiety and help you to be a more productive student.

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Review Academic Conduct Policy

Plagiarism and cheating are not tolerated. Become familiar with OU’s Academic Conduct Policy.

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Pre-Health Professional Resources

Students interested in attending a professional school should begin taking advantage of testing resources, preparation events and volunteer opportunities. Discuss your next steps with the pre-professional advising office.

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Review Final Exam Schedule

The final exam schedule is different than your class schedule.

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Academic Probation

If your first semester doesn't go as planned, the FYAC has resources for you to get back on track.

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Appointments Icon - Dialogue bubble with question markFirst Year Advising Center

Schedule Your Advising Appointment

Required advising appointments begin after the add/drop period. Complete this requirement early to avoid receiving a hold on your account. Call the First Year Advising Center at (248) 370-3227 to schedule.

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Prepare For Your Appointment

In your fall appointment, you will discuss a variety of topics. Prepare to meet with your adviser by completing the "Preparation for Your Fall Advising Appointment" module in eSpace.

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Review Sample Schedule

Become familiar with your degree requirements by reviewing the sample schedule for your major. You will discuss these documents in your advising appointments.

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Find Your Adviser's Contact Information

You can now log in to MySail and find your assigned adviser's contact information. Just sign in to MySail and underneath the My Details section click the blue Adviser link on the right hand side. A box should pop up with your adviser's name along with their contact information.

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Course Change Icon - Two Courses with ArrowUnderstanding Your Schedule

Waitlist For Courses

If a course is full, a waitlist may be available. Students are notified via email when a seat becomes available.

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Withdrawing From A Course

After the add/drop period students have the option to withdraw from a course for a ‘W’ grade. Review the financial implications and speak to your adviser.

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Complete The FAFSA For Next Year

The FAFSA is available each year on October 1. Use your previous year taxes to start the process early for a full understanding of your aid.

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Review Scholarship Renewal Criteria

You may have earned a scholarship when you were admitted to OU. Become familiar with the scholarship renewal criteria.

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Enroll In A Payment Plan

If you are unable to make your payment in full, Student Financial Services offers payment plans.

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Pay Your Bill

Payment is due for fall by August 15 and for winter by December 15. View your eBill and connect with Student Financial Services for questions.

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Become A Student Leader

You’ve likely already interacted with some of OU’s best student leaders. Take on the challenge of becoming the next group leader, mentor or ambassador.

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Connect With A Student Organization

Join a student organization to link up with other students with similar interests. Want to start your own? Gather four of your closest friends and a faculty/staff adviser and register as a group.

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Be Part Of Greek Life

OU is home to 17 sororities and fraternities. Each organization differs in rituals, but all help you develop leadership skills and lifelong friendships.

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Volunteer In Your Community

Do you have a heart to give back? Make a difference in your community by volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, and Alternative Spring Break.

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Participate On An Intramural Sports Team

Compete in tournaments and games with your peers, roommates and classmates for a chance to win the title of reigning campus champ. Sports include basketball, softball, flag football, and many more.

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Join A Club Sport

Club sports are registered student organizations whose members have a shared interest in a particular sport or activity. Join a winning team to compete in competitions and earn a national championship.

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Enjoy The Arts

OU offers a full schedule of music performances, stage plays and dance recitals. Attend an event to immerse yourself in the world of imagination.

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Work On Campus

On-campus jobs are available to all OU students through Handshake. Create your profile and have access to thousands of internships and jobs.

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Reflect On Your Interests

If you are unsure of your major and career interests, it may be a good idea to first reflect on your interests, values, personality, skills and leisure activities. Start your self-reflection today and explore your major and career options using our Focus2 OU online assessment.

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Explore Additional Resources

It is important to learn as much as you can about the majors and careers that you are considering. These resources offer the research and data needed to help plan out your future goals.

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Decide On Your Best Fit

After you have narrowed down to a few majors, ask questions, make a pro/con list and discuss with your adviser before making your final decision.

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Engage With Your Choice

Now that you’ve selected a major, don’t stop there. Join a student organization, volunteer or work with Career Services to secure an internship.

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Thinking Ahead Icon - Upwards pointing arrowThinking Ahead: Sophomore Year

Volunteer In Your Community

Need volunteer hours for your major or graduate school? Get a head start by connecting with community organizations. Remember to keep a journal of your hours.

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Expand Your Horizons

Learn about cultural differences first-hand by studying abroad in places like Italy, Spain or Africa or studying away in another state.

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Land An Internship

Your first year is a great time to think about internship opportunities. Many companies expect students to have at least one or more internships which can lead to a full-time position after graduation.

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Attend Career Related Events

Career Services offers many programs for you to network with prospective employers and companies.

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