UMaine CLAS Advising Center

Helping UMaine students achieve success. It's what we do.

What are the Hardest Languages to Learn?

Interested in learning a new language? Before signing up for that language class you’ve always wanted to take, check out today’s infographic on the easiest to most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn.

Easiest and Hardest Languages to learn

Why Should You Meet with Your Advisor?

A question we get asked often here in the Advising Center is: “Why should I meet with my advisor?”  Or, what I hear, since I work with transfer students who meet with me in addition to their faculty advisor: “I’ve already met with my faculty advisor, why should I meet with you?”  These are fine questions.  Students are rightfully protective of their time; in addition to their academic work (theoretically the main reason they are here in college), they have social relationships to maintain (an integral part of the college experience, teaching interpersonal interaction).  Thus, in their free time, students don’t want to have to do something that they don’t feel is useful for them or that they feel will waste their time.  

The reality is that students will only get as much out of an advising meeting as they let themselves.  A popular refrain amongst advisors is that advising is teaching.  And just ask any teacher or college instructor/professor and they’ll tell you, it’s near impossible to teach someone who doesn’t want to learn.  Thus, a student who comes to meet an advisor, who feels they already know it all, that the meeting is a waste of their time, unless they open their thought and make themselves receptive, they won’t learn and they won’t be advised.  And they’ll miss out.  Miss out on what?  That’s what I’m here to tell you.

1) Advisors are aware of the many resources available on campus: academic, personal, and professional.  They can guide you to those which would be best for you, to help you in your current situation.  You should consider your advisor(s) as a hub of information.  Here at the University of Maine, we have numerous available resources, whether for problem situations or just day to day living.  See my previous posts on Important Resources, the Tutor Program, and the Career Center to get a taste of what’s out there.  

2) Advisors can help make sure you’re taking the correct courses.  Some majors have important building-block courses, all of which are required before you can move on to upper level courses.  I’ve had students in such majors who resisted coming to see me for more than a semester, and when they finally did, we found that they had not begun taking the building-block courses.  Over the next few semesters, work on their major ground to almost a halt, as they were able to only take one course in their major a semester until all these courses were completed.  This effectively added an extra year to their college experience.  With the rise costs of education, that’s just not economically feasible for most students.

3) Advisors can help you understand all the University’s General Education requirements and help you monitor your progress in completing them.  This is important on two fronts.  First, your advisor can help you choose the classes that are most relevant to you and your major and/or minor that also fulfill requirements, or that you find most interesting (you’re in college, you should take at least a few classes purely because you find the topic interesting!).  Secondly, your advisor can help make sure you get all the requirements completed before graduating, so that you’re not stuck with a surprise a month or two before graduation of having one or more General Education requirements left uncompleted.

4) Advisors can help you set up an educational plan.  Some majors have very regimented schedules which allow for little deviance if you plan to graduate in four years.  Your advisor will help make sure that you’re following that plan.  Conversely, there are other programs are very open and allow for a great deal of personal customization in your coursework.  Again, your advisor will help you stay on track, so that in spite of the meandering path you may take, you still end up with the necessary requirements to graduate.

5) Though it may seem simplistic, if you are undecided or confused about what major is best for you, or unhappy with your current major and debating a change, your advisor can help you explore the different possibilities that are available to you and direct you towards resources that could help you make a decision.  Again, check out my previous post on Steps For Choosing A Major to get an idea of ways we can help.

6) And finally, going to college can be very fun, but it can also be hard.  Going to a new school, in a new place, surrounded by new people, and facing new standards of rigor can be a very daunting task.  If you let them, your advisor can help you find your place amidst all this newness.  

That, of course, is the trick of it.  Your advisors can only do these things if you let them.  You have to be open to letting someone help you.  Remember, we don’t want to waste your time; if it’s wasting your time, it’s wasting our time, and we’re much too busy to purposefully waste time.  We’re here because we want to help you!

Calendar for the Week of 10/27/2014 to 11/2/2014

Monday, October 27
UMaine Community Health and Wellness Fair
New Balance Recreational Center: 11am – 3pm

Free health and wellness fair for UMaine students, faculty, and staff. Get your blood pressure checked, try biofeedback, have a chair massage and more.

The Tutor Program is offering Drop-in Tutoring, located in the Tutor Program classroom on the first floor of the library (between the Research Consultation Area and the Writing Center classroom).  Check out their website for more information and the full schedule.  
Drop-in Tutoring for Monday:
12pm-1pm – MAT 115
2pm-4pm – PHY 122
4pm-5pm – PSY 100
5pm-7pm – MAT 228

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the semester the Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers the opportunity to practice conversations in other languages.  It is located in Little Hall, Room 207 and is open to anyone who wants to have conversations in the specific language.
12pm-1pm – French Table

Tuesday, October 28
Drop-in Tutoring for Tuesday:
11am-12pm – CHY 121
2pm-3pm – SMS 100
4pm-6pm – BIO 100

Wednesday, October 29
Graduate and Professional Programs Open House
Stodder Hall: 4pm – 6pm

For those interested in pursuing graduate education at UMaine. Doctorate degrees are available in 30 areas of study and the master’s degree may be earned in more than 75 areas, ranging from the arts, sciences and engineering to professional degrees in the fields of business, education, nursing, communication sciences and disorders, global policy, and social work. The event will include refreshments and raffle give-aways.

Drop-in Tutoring for Wednesday:
9am-10am – PHY 121
10am-11am – AST 109
11pm-12pm – SMS 100
1pm-2pm – BIO 100
2pm-3pm – PHY 121
4pm-5pm – PHY 111

ML&C
12pm-1pm – German Table

Thursday, October 30
Drop-in Tutoring for Thursday:
10am-11am – CHY 121
1pm-2pm – MAT 232
3pm-4pm -PSY 100
4pm-6pm – BIO 100

ML&C
12pm-1pm – Spanish Table

If other events turn up, we will be sure to update the calendar. Have a great week!

Getting More Out of Google

Did you know that on average, Google users search over 40,000 queries per second? That’s a lot of Googling. Save time and make your searches more effective by following the tips in this week’s infographic:

Getting More out of Google

Thursday Tip of the Day

Remember, today is the last day to sign up for small-group tutoring; to sign up or to find more info, check out the Tutor Program’s website!

Using Google Calendar

One thing I’ve heard repeatedly from numerous students is that they have a hard time keeping track of assignments and appointments. I average probably 4-5 missed advising appointments per week, with the student later telling me that they completely forgot about it. The reality is that I used to miss appointments and would lose track of when assignments were due. And then a friend introduced me to Google Calendar. It changed my life. And it can change yours, too.

All students (and employees, too!) at the University of Maine are provided a Google account. That’s actually what the @maine.edu account is. So there’s no legitimate excuse for any and all students to not use Google Calendar to help them organize their life.

First and foremost, Google Calendar can help you visually keep track of meetings and assignment due dates. You have three different viewing options for the calendar, either the daily view, the weekly view, or the monthly view. And you can easily switch between the views for whichever is most convenient at that time. You can use the daily view to keep track of appointments and meetings for that specific day. The weekly view lets you know what’s coming up throughout that week. And the monthly view puts all your assignments in perspective so that you can plan your time accordingly.

Another benefit is that you can create multiple calendars. For instance, you could create a new calendar for each course you are taking. You have the ability to have them all showing at the same time, however, and use different colours for each. Thus you could visually see the amount of work and due dates for each class.

Once you have your assignments and meetings in Google Calendar, you can set up reminders for each and every entry. These reminders can be either pop-ups (it shows up on your screen), text messages, or emails, and you can set them to be sent out a certain number of minutes, hours, days, or weeks in advance, or even a combination of those. For instance, if you have a paper due on a certain date, you could set up a reminder email or text to be sent to you a month in advance, two weeks in advance, one week in advance, three days in advance, one day in advance, and then 12 hours in advance. Then you’d have no excuse to forget about it or not get it done in time.

In addition to sending reminders, you can also receive daily agendas via your email. Once you set it up, Google Calendar will send you an email with your schedule for that day. And it can include any and all of your calendars. Once set, you will receive an email at about 5:30am that will include everything on your agenda for that day.

For the more advanced user, Google Calendar also gives you the option to share your calendars with other Google Calendar users. You can give them ability to simply read your calendar or give them progressively more rights, up through the ability to edit your calendar appointments and settings. This can be very useful in a group learning setting, so that everyone has access to the same due dates and the same reminders.

And for those students who use a smartphone or a tablet, you can sync the calendars directly with iCal on your Apple products or link to it directly on your Android phone, so you can access it any time you’d like.

So set up a Google Calendar for yourself and give it a try. Used correctly and consistently, you’ll find that you get assignments done in a more timely manner and you will not miss appointments. It will help you on your path to academic and career success.

Calendar for the Week of 10/20/2014 to 10/26/2014

This Thursday, October 23, is the last day to sign up for group tutoring for the fall semester. If you are struggling in a class and need the extra help, be sure to sign up before then!

Monday, October 20
History Department Symposium
Politics, Peoplehood, and Recognition: (Re)Birth of the Monacan Nation
3:15 – 4:15pm Hill Auditorium

Communication and Journalism Colloquium
The Global Village Dump: Media Cultures and the Crisis of E-Waste
12:10 – 1:00pm 424 Dunn Hall

Sign up for small group tutoring is ongoing. The Tutor Program is also offering Drop-in Tutoring, located in the Tutor Program classroom on the first floor of the library (between the Research Consultation Area and the Writing Center classroom).  Check out their website for more information and the full schedule.  
Drop-in Tutoring for Monday:
12pm-1pm – MAT 115
2pm-4pm – PHY 122
4pm-5pm – PSY 100
5pm-7pm – MAT 228

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the semester the Department of Modern Languages and Classics offers the opportunity to practice conversations in other languages.  It is located in Little Hall, Room 207 and is open to anyone who wants to have conversations in the specific language.
12pm-1pm – French Table

Tuesday, October 21
Drop-in Tutoring for Tuesday:
11am-12pm – CHY 121
2pm-3pm – SMS 100
4pm-6pm – BIO 100

Wednesday, October 22
Drop-in Tutoring for Wednesday:
9am-10am – PHY 121
10am-11am – AST 109
11pm-12pm – SMS 100
1pm-2pm – BIO 100
2pm-3pm – PHY 121
4pm-5pm – PHY 111

ML&C
12pm-1pm – German Table

Thursday, October 23
Today is the LAST DAY to sign up for group tutoring for the fall semester!

Drop-in Tutoring for Thursday:
10am-11am – CHY 121
1pm-2pm – MAT 232
3pm-4pm -PSY 100
4pm-6pm – BIO 100

ML&C
12pm-1pm – Spanish Table

If other events turn up, we will be sure to update the calendar. Have a great week!

Stress and Health for Students

Stress is inevitable. However, sometimes people don’t realize how stressed they really are! Today’s infographic discusses stress in college students, how it effects them, and some tips on maintaining healthy stress levels.

Stress and Health for Students

Thursday Tip of the Day

The class list for the Spring 2015 semester is now available on Mainestreet! You can begin making your Wish List and get it approved by your advisor.

Calendar for the Week of 10/13/2014 to 10/19/2014

Welcome back! We hope you had a fun and relaxing Fall Break!

Monday, October 13
Fall Break- No activities

Tuesday, October 14
Fall Break- No activities

Wednesday,October 15
Drop-in Tutoring for Wednesday:
9am-10am – PHY 121
10am-11am – AST 109
11pm-12pm – SMS 100
1pm-2pm – BIO 100
2pm-3pm – PHY 121
4pm-5pm – PHY 111

ML&C
12pm-1pm – German Table

Thursday, October 16
Drop-in Tutoring for Thursday:
10am-11am – CHY 121
1pm-2pm – MAT 232
3pm-4pm -PSY 100
4pm-6pm – BIO 100

ML&C
12pm-1pm – Spanish Table

If other events turn up, we will be sure to update the calendar. Have a great week!

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