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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Start off strong: Advice for freshman STEM majors!

Joining clubs and succeeding in your Gen Eds are some of the best ways to start college off strong.

Are you entering the new school year wondering how to become more involved within your science, technology, engineering or math major? Or looking to build on your resume and make more peer connections? 

Don’t worry, UW-Madison has hundreds of clubs and organizations that provide opportunities to volunteer, connect with professionals in your field of interest and learn more about specific major pathways. 

The majority of clubs/organizations will have booths at the Student Org Fair which takes place in September. Though there is an abundance of awesome clubs to join (including the Daily Cardinal science desk!), it’s typically best to stick to 1-2, in order to be able to get more involved with leadership later on — this is a great resume booster!

  1. Aspiring Physician’s Assistant Association
  2. Conservation Biology Society
  3. Doctors without Borders
  4. Wisconsin Pre-Medical Society (WPS)
  5. National Alliance on Mental Illness

Another important aspect of any STEM major’s academic career is succeeding in general education requirements. Taking Chem 103? Or Math 221? Or any other seemingly grueling Gen Ed? Here’s some strategies to get that A (or maybe B).

  1. Go to office hours! While it might be a little awkward at first, this is a great way to set yourself apart from the mass of students taking these bigger classes. Going to office hours is also a helpful opportunity to ask questions, or consider questions you didn’t even know you had. You won’t regret it!
  2. Keep up on course materials. College classes move fast, and falling just a little behind can easily snowball into a bombed exam. Dedicate time to studying and reviewing material each week to stay on top of things. 
  3. Ask questions, even if they seem stupid! Many times, other students will be wondering the same thing. 
  4. Keep track of your health, both mental and physical. It’s impossible to do your best when you’re unwell. Take steps to keep yourself healthy — it’ll benefit your academics too!
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