Student Life

Counseling Center

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Hawks

The following tips for successful college adjustment were suggested by SJU student leaders.  Please feel free to comment or make suggestions of your own.


To manage your time and work load.....

  • Set aside a certain amount of time each week just for studying and stick to it.
  • Plan in advance for what will be due during the semester.
  • Follow the syllabus carefully; have each assignment done before the class it's due.
  • Be aware of your own schedule; don't be overly influenced by others.
  • Stay busy...the busier you are, the more you get done.
  • Learn when to say no.
  • Stay on top of things; don't let work pile up on you.

To get the most out of your classes...

  • Don't skip classes
  • Get to your classes on time, every time
  • Take good notes
  • Pay attention during academic orientation
  • Plan ample time for studying
  • Get to know others in your class; study together; borrow notes.
  • Establish relationships with your professors; e-mail teachers; ask them for help.

To make the most of your studying...

  • Set aside time just for studying, but give yourself time to relax when you're stressed out.
  • Take advantage of study skills workshops.
  • Remember that you're paying for school...don't waste it.
  • Don't give up if you start on the wrong foot.
  • Get advice from upperclassmen.
  • Form study groups with your classmates.
  • Take advantage of free peer tutoring.

To make wise academic decisions...

  • Don't choose a major based on what you think you "should" do.
  • Don't choose your major to get a certain professor or class.
  • Choose a major based on what you'd love to do.
  • Take a career interest test at Career Services.
  • Find an advisor who knows your area of study.
  • If you're unhappy with your advisor, find out about switching.
  • Talk to upperclassmen about their academic experiences.

To enjoy your social life...

  • Use caution in dating; remember your reputation is on the line
  • If you go to a party with someone, stay with that person...know who your friends are leaving with.
  • Use the buddy system at parties; protect one another
  • Make sure you know and trust a person before you're alone with him or her.
  • Use alcohol responsibly... if you drink, be aware of yourself and others.
  • Don't get involved in a serious relationship too quickly; take your time to meet people.
  • Consider your roommates before bringing your date up to your room.

To make friends at college...

  • Be courageous; introduce yourself to new people.
  • Get involved in student organizations and activities.
  • Go to hall mixers.
  • Be open to new things.
  • Be discreet in what you share about yourself at first and don't gossip about others.
  • Don't limit yourself to friendships with suitemates; get friends outside of your small circle.
  • Don't be afraid to be yourself.

To get along with your roommates...

  • Set guidelines for living together -- split up chores and responsibilities evenly.
  • Have rules for how to take messages, share food, borrow clothes, etc.
  • See your relationship as a business partnership, not necessarily a friendship.
  • Respect one another's property; be considerate.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Don't allow your roommates to take advantage of you.
  • Try to deal with problems and misunderstandings right away.

To Maintain Healthy Eating Habits and physical conditioning...

  • Stock up on healthy foods in your dorm or apt.
  • In the cafeteria, ask the workers to check in the back if you do not see what you want.
  • Get a group of friends together to make suggestions to the Food Service.
  • Avoid late night eating and too much beer drinking.
  • Work out.
  • Get involved in intramurals or sports.
  • Ask the trainers in the Fieldhouse to develop an exercise program for you.

To avoid disordered eating :

  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.
  • Get support and/or professional help if you think you may have an eating disorder.
  • Learn what support services are available, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Keep in mind that food does not solve emotional problems.
  • Model healthy attitudes.
  • Learn to be yourself and feel comfortable in your body.
  • Don't compare yourself to others or get obsessed with diet and exercise.

To drink responsibly:

  • Don't be pressured to drink more than you can handle.
  • Learn how alcohol effects you and your body; know your limits.
  • Remember that non-drinkers can be positive role models.
  • Don't drink to relieve stress or deal with problems.
  • Don't use alcohol as a way to make friends.
  • Keep in mind that some people will take advantage of a drunk person; remember you can't trust everybody.
  • Know where to go if you have a problem with alcohol;CAPS or WADE staff can help.