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New to CWRU: Take advantage of academic resources on campus

Stepping onto campus for the first time as a Case Western Reserve University student is exciting as you consider your future, what knowledge you will gain here and who you will form friendships with along the way.

But there are plenty of uncertainties, too. Even the most basic everyday activities—such as grabbing a bite to eat or doing your laundry—will look different from your life at home. To help you find your footing, The Daily teamed up with this year’s orientation leaders to hear their advice on what new Spartans should know. Each day this week, we’ll share some of their tips to help you feel more prepared as classes start next week.

Today’s advice focuses on professors, office hours and other academic success tips at Case Western Reserve University. 

 Advice responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Jen Lawrence

  • Major(s): Computer and electrical engineering
  • Year: Second year
  • Jen’s advice: “I was never really the greatest at writing an essay, especially with the planning part of it—I could never get that started. I would go to the Writing Resource Center and meet with my SAGES professor [who] was always eager and ready to help. He would help me go through the outline planning and because I did those sessions throughout my first semester, I can do that myself now.”  

Nidhi Shah

  • Major: Chemical engineering
  • Year: Third year
  • Nidhi’s advice: “Take advantage of your professors and [teacher assistants] and always go to office hours. I know it’s scary, but they have great advice to offer. There are also supplemental instruction sessions that you can go to for your classes and free peer tutoring on TutorTrac.” 

Jacob Osborne

  • Major(s): Cognitive science, communication sciences
  • Year: Fourth year
  • Jacob’s advice: “You don’t have to rush on deciding your major—I’ve changed [mine] multiple times and just gone with the flow.” 

Suchita Rajan

  • Major: Cognitive science
  • Year: Fourth year
  • Suchita’s advice: “Have a planner to make to-do lists, whether written down or online. Have a way to keep track of your assignments and what you have to do because it can get overwhelming the first couple weeks. You [may] have different clubs and activities that you want to attend—keeping track of your academics from the beginning is really important.” 

Vani Subramony

  • Major: Cognitive science
  • Year: Second year
  • Vani’s advice: ‘It’s scary sometimes to reach out to your professors, but they really want to help you. Their doors are always open, and they’re always willing to assist and guide you, give you feedback for classes—that kind of thing.” 

Dienye Banigo

  • Major(s): Chemical biology, pre-medicine
  • Year: Fourth year
  • Dienye’s advice: “Office hours are your best friends. Know that your teacher is there to help you—they’re not there to hinder your success. They want what’s best for you and know that you are trying when you come to office hours. If you are still not getting the concept and they’re seeing you [during] office hours, they understand that you’re trying to succeed. Progress is not perfection, but it’s close enough, and you’ll be fine because your teachers are there. Don’t just sit in loneliness; please ask for help.” 

Zachary Treseler

  • Major: International studies
  • Year: Second year
  • Zach’s advice: “Use Google Maps. It’ll save you, especially on the first few days of classes [when] trying to figure out where every building is. Once you conquer that, learn how the shuttle systems and SafeRide work; that way, you don’t spend half an hour walking across campus and can use your time more efficiently.”

Want to work smarter, not harder? Learn how you can make your academic life at CWRU easier.