Archive by Author | torirough

Apply for Graduation — Do It.

screen shot of a TDA

Eventually, it happens to all of us. One day you wake up to find a mysterious and unexpected email in your inbox. “You have met the minimum requirements to apply for graduation.” What? I haven’t thought about next semester’s classes, let alone graduating. Am I even on track? What am I supposed to do?

First of all, pat yourself on the back. If you play your cards right, you can probably walk across the stage in a cap and gown in a year. But why do I have to apply for graduation? And why so early? After all, it’s just a ceremony and a piece of paper. What’s the big deal? Well, as you’ve probably figured out by now, earning a university degree is a big deal.

The graduation process is just that, a process. In order for you to get your degree, a lot of things need to happen. You will need to apply for graduation, and your major department has to review your TDA to make sure it shows the correct major classes and approve your grad check. The grad fee needs to be paid, and all of the degree requirements have to be met. The Graduation Unit in Admissions and Records will review your TDA to determine degree completion. With several thousands of degrees being awarded each year, that process takes time; that process begins with applying for graduation.

Applying for graduation a year in advance is very beneficial. You’ve heard the horror stories. A student thinks he’s graduating, but makes one tiny mistake, and bam. No degree. Applying in advance will give your major department time to review your TDA, and give you the time to receive the necessary advising to ensure that you graduate when you want to.

So, you’re eligible to apply for graduation. What’s the next step? First, determine your final semester and apply for graduation through your Student Center. If you’re not sure which semester to pick, talk to an advisor first. Next, pay your graduation fee ($115) at Student Financial Services (UH-180). It’s a one-time fee, so don’t be afraid to pay it early. Plus, paying the grad fee is necessary to become a Candidate for graduation (along with your major grad check advisor reviewing/approving your TDA), and there are many benefits to becoming a final Candidate: you will be able to register earlier for your final semester, get tickets to your assigned commencement ceremony, and get on the radar of the Graduation Unit so your TDA can be reviewed in advance. After that, get advising and review your TDA regularly. Seek general education and major advising to ensure that no degree requirements are forgotten. Lastly, enjoy your final semesters and complete all of your classes. CSUF wants you to help you graduate, so begin the graduation process as soon as possible, and seek the resources provided to help you move from student to proud alumnus.

Operation Get Involved

There are a ton of resources available in the online Student Portal, so you may have missed the addition of a new tab at the top of the screen. However, if you take a moment to click the Get Involved link, you’ll be on your way to discovering a new tool that provides all the resources needed to get involved and keep track of your participation during your time at Cal State Fullerton.

The Get Involved icon leads to the Titan Student Involvement Center, where you’ll find announcements and calendars of upcoming campus events and activities, as well as copious resources to discover anything you’d want to know about campus life. Another advantageous feature is the My Involvements tab that allows you to construct a printer friendly  “Titan Pride Record,” or formatted snapshot of your extra-curricular activities throughout your college career. It’s a very handy tool when building a resume. Lastly, on the CSUF Spirit Corner tab, you’ll find highlights of students and alumni who are “leaving their legacy” on campus, as well as downloadable Titan spirit, everything from the CSUF Fight Song to Tuffy the Titan clipart.

Cal State Fullerton is a sizable campus, unique in it’s accessibility to commuters; however, this makes learning about the manifold options for campus involvement a rather formidable task. This new tool is a centralized, user-friendly way to discover your perfect place in the Titan community, and maximize your college experience.

Approaching the Finish Line

The two weeks after Thanksgiving break are notorious amongst college students. Teased by freedom from school and the beginning of the holiday season, motivation to write final papers and study for exams is hard to find. Looking for a way to beat the turkey-induced bout of post-break laziness? Here are a few simple tips to avoid crashing before you hit the finish line:

1. Defeat procrastination before it’s too late! Let’s be honest, you probably didn’t get too far on the list of homework you wanted to do over the break, and the daunting list of tasks to be done can be a temptation to put it off further. However, even the procrastinator can be tricked into working ahead by easing into small amounts of work at a time. Study during commercial breaks, devote just 15 minutes at a time to something that needs to get done, or set yourself to complete only 25% of an assignment before you hang out with your friends. Motivation to begin is considerably harder to produce than motivation to continue something that has already begun, so make getting started as easy as possible.

2. Find an environment that will encourage studying. Surprisingly, your couch, your bed, your dorm, and in front of a TV are terrible places to study! If you like lattes, study at a coffee shop. If you want pancakes, go to Denny’s to study. If being around friends will keep you off Facebook long enough to accomplish something, meet together at someone’s house. ASI offers the All Night Study in the TSU to accommodate all of your study needs at any time. Finding the right environment will maximize the time you spend studying.

You’d be hard pressed to find a student excited to return from Thanksgiving break, but some creativity can help you finish the semester with excellence. Discover what helps you the most, and make the approach to the finish line as smooth and easy as possible.