Tips for starting the new quarter off right

Friday, April 1, 2016

*Spring classes begin April 4

Beginning a new quarter can be an exciting, and daunting, challenge. Start the new quarter with a “spring” in your step thanks to these tips from South Puget Sound Community College and its students. Spring quarter begins April 4.

student in campus parking lot

Avoid the parking crunch

Parking on campus can be notoriously tough on the first day of a new quarter. So plan ahead! If you must drive, give yourself plenty of time. Also, consider a carpool friend. Your student ID is also a free Intercity Transit bus pass with updated quarterly validation, meaning you can leave the car behind completely and either ride onto the Olympia or Lacey campuses, or use one of the park and ride options near both. You can also bike to campus, as we have several bike storage lockers, and IT buses are also bike friendly.

Several SPSCC students agreed that parking can be tricky, and echoed arriving early or taking the bus.

students on campus

Find your way around our campuses

Another common piece of advice from former and current SPSCC students was to print out a map of campus to aid you in finding your classes or key offices. You can also visit one of the information tables that will be set up on the first two days of the quarter (April 4 and 5). One station will be set up at Lacey campus just inside the main door, and two will be set up on the Olympia campus. One will be located in the main bus loop outside buildings 25 and 26, and the other in the Student Union Building (Building 27).

Those stations will have maps, helpful info, and more, to help you start the quarter off right. Plus, you can scope out your classes and various campus resources, including fun events and activities.

textbooks in bookstore

Get your books now

The SPSCC Bookstore can be pretty busy during the first days of the quarter. One way to avoid those long lines is to get your books before the quarter begins. Most classes will already have their book lists available. Plus, you can order your books online, and the Bookstore now offers a price match option too (but note, there are exceptions).

students in classExtra supplies can be a great ice breaker

We’ve all been there…first day of class, and suddenly you can’t find a pen or pencil to save your life. But someone has an extra, and now you’ve made a first-day friend. You can also be that first-day friend by grabbing a few extra pens and pencils in case anyone in your classes finds themselves in need. Several students echoed the sentiment. Supplies like extra folders, staplers, and others can be helpful for different classes too.

“Extra pencils and paper make friends,” Adam Garrison said on the SPSCC Facebook page

“I always carry extra pens and pencils for this reason,” second-year Paralegal student Karan Wright responded. “I would add to that, find a ‘notes buddy’ to exchange notes with if either of you misses a class. Most professors allow and encourage it.”

Canvas login screen

For online classes, check out canvas before the first day

Familiarizing yourself with Canvas can give you an edge when it comes to the start of the quarter. You can access your syllabus before classes begin, find helpful info, and ask questions. In some cases, assignments may already be available.

student at One Stop Desk

Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help

Another common response from students was not being tentative about seeking help or asking questions. We’re dedicated to helping our students, and ensuring that we do all we can to help make your SPSCC experience a great one. That means we love to answer questions, and love to help.

So ask your teachers, friends, or any staff member at the college if you need something. Chances are, even if we don’t know the answer, we’ll be able to point you in the direction of someone who does.

And we have tons of great resources to help you in your studies too, like our Learning Support Services offices located in the Center for Student Success (Building 22) on the Olympia campus and in room 152 on the Lacey campus. They offer tutoring and help in English, math, science and more. There’s also various open computer labs on both campuses, and you can also get help at the SPSCC Library.

So while the first day of the quarter can be stressful, it’s also a fun and exciting time. So don’t be afraid to be yourself, and explore everything SPSCC has to offer!

“Just be yourself and don't worry because the students and staff at SPSCC are awesome and it's a very ‘come as you are’ type of campus,” Wright said. “I've made a lot of really cool friends there and gotten great advice from professors and advisers.”