Congratulations! You’re almost halfway done with college!
OK, maybe it’s a little premature to be congratulating – I realize the semester is not yet over and there’s still the (massive) hurdle that is final exams. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking ahead – to the next two years of college, to your post-college plans, maybe even further down the road than that.
Since about 85% of you, the Class of 2016, used the OAR in some way last year, you probably know that we offer workshops and individual consultations on topics like time management, reading strategies, and procrastination. Now that you’re a pro at managing your time and mapping out your assignments for the entire semester, you may think you have no use for the OAR…
But think again.
Here’s a sneak peak of what’s brewing at the OAR – some things we’ve already started and some that are on the horizon – and all of which can help you as an upperclassman and maybe even beyond.
Print Resource Library
We recently purchased a lot of resource books so that you don’t have to! From study skills and writing to leadership and public speaking, there’s something useful for everyone. Plus, we’re adding new books regularly. Stop by the OAR and check out the bookshelf behind the front desk – if there’s a book you think we should have in our library, let us know.
Test Prep Resources
Is grad school in your future? If so, you’ll probably have to take an entrance exam. Whether it’s the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, or GMAT, there are plenty of free resources available here at Haverford. Our print resource library (see above) includes a number of test prep books that you can borrow. We can also tell you about free online resources – email Michael Webert to find out more.
Even if you think grad school might be a few years down the road for you, it’s best to take these exams now, or shortly after graduating, while your brain is still working like a well-oiled academic machine. Plus, scores usually remain valid for several years, so why not take the exams if you think you’ll need them?
MondoPads, Panopto, & More!
Just last summer, the OAR became extremely modernized and high tech – you may have already used some of this new technology, but if you haven’t, next year is a good time to start!
Mondopads and ClickShare let you seamlessly collaborate with group members on a project or annotate an essay with a digital whiteboard. Panopto allows you to record yourself giving a presentation, providing you with helpful feedback when preparing for that big end-of-semester presentation. Skype interview? Consider doing it in one of the OAR rooms so that you’re in a professional-looking environment rather than using your dorm room as the backdrop. We also have iPads that you can borrow, all loaded with super-cool study, reading, and presentation apps that can help you in your academic pursuits. If there’s an app you love that we don’t yet have, just let us know, and we’ll buy it!
Technology workshops will resume again in the fall, and you can also schedule an appointment with Shubhada, our Technology Support Specialist. She can help you decide what will best suit your needs and show you how to use the programs!
Next year, we’ll be launching a program designed to help students develop their public speaking skills. Even if you don’t have to give a lot of oral presentations in class or don’t plan on becoming a politician, speaking is a skill that you’ll need for just about anything you pursue after college – most jobs require you to speak, whether you’re presenting your research findings, leading a meeting, or even speaking with clients. And don’t forget job interviews! Speaking confidently and convincingly can help you land a job – on the other hand, nervously fumbling over your words and not being able to construct a succinct yet coherent answer can cause you not to get a job, even if you’re qualified.
Yes, you’ll be thinking about and writing your senior thesis before you know it. Many seniors schedule a consultation at the OAR at the beginning of the year to map out a plan of (thesis) attack: we’ll help you break up your thesis into smaller, more manageable chunks to ensure you get everything done without overwhelming yourself. If there’s one thing you can’t procrastinate on, it’s the senior thesis. In fact, the end of your junior year is an even better time to map out your thesis plan.
We hope you’ll stop by the OAR many times over the next two years – we plan to keep adding and improving our resources and services to better suit students’ needs. As always, if there’s anything you’d like to see that would help you in your academic and co-curricular pursuits, let us know!