St. Edward’s may be a small school, but there’s too much going on — classes, organizations, activities, good food, thoughtful conversations, fuzzy goats — for you to see, do and learn everything (though you certainly can try). So, how do you keep from getting overwhelmed and still have a full experience? Whether you’re starting your first semester or your final year at St. Edward’s, our faculty and staff members have some suggestions for you.

Professors are people, too. (We promise.)

“Go to your professors’ office hours at least once before the first exam. We want you to succeed, we care about our students, and we’re happy when you attend our office hours. It demonstrates that you have an interest in your academic career, and it makes visiting the office less daunting if you need to later in the semester.”
Brian Smith
Professor of Political Science

Student in office hours with a professor
Profsessor talking to students in classroom

Seriously. Professors are very willing to share their wisdom with you.

“It's much better to finish a semester saying, ‘Wow, now I know something that I didn't know before’ than to say, ‘Wow, that grade sure looks spiffy on my transcript.’ Everyone here ­— professors, friends, staff — wants you to succeed to the best of your capabilities. Remember that when you're feeling frustrated. Tell the people you love that you love them. They'll be glad to hear it, and it will probably make everyone feel better. And don't be afraid to try new things and meet new people. Also, eat breakfast every day; it's good for you, and it gets your brain going.”
Alan Swinkels
Professor and Chair of Psychology

Skipping class is a bad idea on so many levels.

“Go to class. This seems like a no-brainer, but trust me, it makes all the difference. I skipped classes because I thought I could stay in my dorm room and just read the text. That was a huge mistake. Not only did my grades suffer in college, but I also missed the chance to hear what my professors and peers had to say about the course material. When I returned to class, I made more friends, got involved with campus activities, learned about employers visiting campus, etc. In short, going to class was a gateway to a rich intellectual and social life.”
Jack Musselman
Professor of Philosophy

Student stiing outdoors refllecting on day

Set aside time for reflection.

“Spend 15 to 20 minutes each evening following a practice we call the ‘examen.’ It is very simple and can be adapted for students who do not have a religious tradition. First, spend a few moments quietly in God’s presence. Then think about the experiences of the day for which you’re most grateful. Think about opportunities you missed and how you might be prepared to take advantage of opportunities tomorrow. Pay attention to the emotions you experienced over the course of the day. And, finally, look forward to tomorrow.”
Father Peter Walsh
Director of Campus Ministry

If something goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world.

“I always like to remind my students (and myself) that sometimes our path can be direct, but oftentimes, it can be an incredibly winding road. And, that’s okay! Sometimes life brings forth unexpected challenges, and it is up to you to get back on the original path after a detour or to take the time and explore the new options presented to you. Who knows what adventures are in store?!”
Jason De La Rosa
Director of Career and Professional Development

Student walking with her hand toughing tall grass

Get active. Literally.

“Find a way to become engaged on campus in a healthy manner. Whether it’s being active in rec programs, developing your spiritual side, joining an organization, or enhancing your leadership skills, St. Edward’s has thousands of ways to develop students holistically. Being involved outside the classroom will enhance your university experience while improving academic success.”
Andy Lemons
Director of Campus Recreation

Start your FAFSA early. You’ll thank yourself later.

“Be sure to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early. It’s available to complete on October 1. The application process is now easier than ever since you’ll be using your prior tax return and the IRS data retrieval tool. Our priority deadline for currently enrolled students is March 1. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Financial Services Office and speak directly with an advisor. We are here to help!”
Jennifer M. Beck
Director of Student Financial Aid

Male student working on laptop in dorm
Students sitting outside laughing together

Nobody has the answers. And that’s OK.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t know what you’re supposed to be doing — for me it was really comforting to realize other people feel the same way. Life has no real roadmap, so do the best you can with what gets thrown at you. That’s what everyone does. And it’s enough.”
Rosie Rangel
Assistant Director of Admission

It may be a cliché, but the world is your classroom.

“Consider studying abroad! This broadens your perspective, challenges you to adapt to new situations and empowers you to take future challenges with confidence. There are so many opportunities at St. Edward’s, and the Global Engagement Office can tell you about them.”
Trish Baynham
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Students studying together in dorm

Staying ahead of schedule isn’t just for overachievers.

“Take some time at the start of the semester to create a calendar of major assignment due dates and exams for your classes. It is inevitable that at some point you will have a time crunch but if you can visualize them on your calendar you can plan out your preparation time and not be caught short when it is too late to get it all done. ”
Louise Single
Interim Dean, The Bill Munday School of Business

You won’t face anything alone.

“I often share with new students, and it’s always a great reminder for returning students, that learning how to overcome adversity and learning how to learn are the two most important tips to be successful. Know your resources, ask for help and get involved on campus, and you’ll create a foundation to help you when you inevitably need to overcome adversity.”
Lisa Kirkpatrick
Vice President of Student Affairs

By Lauren Liebowitz