Start Strong!

Whether you are gearing up for a new semester or a new experience as a Cornell student, LSC has resources to help students start strong!

Start your semester by taking some time to reflect on the things you are excited about and the questions you still have about this semester.

And, make sure you know where you can get help WHEN (not if) you need it!

Are you a continuing student (or just interested in honing your study skills)?

  • Get the most out of the syllabus and see what you need to dig deeper into by using our syllabus checklist!
  • Amp-up your note-taking strategies by using Cornell Notes.
  • Map out your semester using our semester calendar (be ready for your crunch times, and learn a bit more about time management, too).
  • Do you procrastinate? Not surprisingly, you are not alone! Find out more about how to break the cycle of procrastination – click here now before you go fold your laundry!
  • Explore the LSC’s “Gearing Up for a New Semester” Canvas module! The Canvas module will help you develop and refine your academic plan for success. If you are already enrolled in the LSC Study Skills Canvas site, click here to go directly to module. If you are not already enrolled in our LSC Canvas site, you can self-enroll to access study skills modules by clicking here. (Cornell students, faculty, and staff only).

Are you a new student to Cornell?

  • Take a look at our interactive module “Gearing Up for Academic Success” (available only to Cornell students). This module will help you:
    • Identify important components of a syllabus–and know how to find syllabi on Canvas
    • Define terms and phrases used at Cornell
    • Access a growth-mindset
    • Explore some of the many ways to get academic support at Cornell
  • Spend a few minutes learning the lingo! What’s a prelim? Who is an advisor and what do they do? What is this add/drop/withdraw/shopping period? Who are TAs? Use our Quizlet to learn some of the Cornell lingo.
  • The syllabus is your go-to resource to answer questions about your classes. Go through the Syllabus Checklist to learn more about your courses. The link will download a word document.
  • Office hours are a great place to get your questions answered! Learn more about what office hours are and how to use them.
  • Cornell Academic Materials Program

    The Cornell Academic Materials Program is a university-wide program that provides undergraduate students taking undergraduate courses at Cornell with access to their required textbooks and coursepacks for a single flat-rate cost, $225 per semester. All materials in this program are provided in a digital format within Canvas and become available for students to access no later than the first day of classes. Students are automatically enrolled in the program.

    Read more about the benefits of this program, learn how the program works, and find answers to frequently asked questions on the Cornell Academic Materials Program website:

    Watch: What Does It Take To Be A Successful Student at Cornell?

    Hear it from your peers! Check out successful students’ top 10 recommendations for starting strong!

    Applying knowledge to new situations is a new way of thinking and learning for many students. Many students find they need to add new strategies and adapt existing strategies as they transition to Cornell; they need to change their game.  Sakeena Everett (AAP & CAS ’07; now Dr. Sakeena Everett, a faculty member at the University of Georgia!), shares her thoughts on “changing your game” to be successful at Cornell.

Advice Corner:
Tips from the LSC tutors on starting the semester strong!

  1. Use “syllabus week” to establish your plan for the semester.
  2. Go through all your syllabi and put the dates of prelims, papers, and projects in your calendar. Include important extracurriculars.
  3. Make a weekly schedule with classes, office hours, when to do homework, study, work out, etc.
  4. Spend time studying the first couple of easy weeks so you won’t be surprised by the first wave of prelims.
  5. Practice good self-care: sleep well, eat well, work out.
  6. Review your notes every day.
  7. Keep your room clean and organized.
  8. Find study habits that work for you. Try self-testing
  9. Go to office hours and ask questions.
  10. Set a routine, and stick to it!