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Student Affairs Corner: Spring 2017 Welcome Letter From The VP of Student Affairs

Kenneth Holmes, Vice President of Student Affairs (Photo Courtesy: Justin Knight, Howard’s Office of University Communications)

Welcome!

Happy New Year from the Office of Student Affairs! Whether you are a first time student or returning home, we’re happy you are here and we look forward to supporting you. As you embark on a new academic semester, we would like to offer a few tips that could assist in your success.

1. Learn from last semester! Whether you’ve had a great semester or the fall provided a challenge, there is always something to learn from your experience. Take a look at your entire semester or break it down into categories, you will find areas to improve. The previous semester is always an excellent indicator of where you may have shortcomings, use it to know what you can do to become a better student.

2. Be Proactive! Familiarize yourself with the university calendar and handle any necessary business before the deadline. If you will be returning in Summer/Fall 2017, stay abreast of the respective deadlines for housing, registration, finances, etc. If you plan on living off-campus next year, stop by the Office of Off-Campus Housing and Community Engagement for resources and possible listings. Howard University prepares global change agents to be proactive!

3. Protect your brand! As a Howard University student, you are making a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself as a leader and the manner in which you will serve others in the global community. Your brand is your work and commitment to truth, excellence and service. It is an asset that sets you apart and must be managed with the intention of helping others benefit from the 150 year history and legacy of Howard University. Being a Bison means that you protect both your individual image as well as our collective image as the Mecca, in both the community and on social media.

4. Self-care is important! Plan time every day to take care of yourself. Set aside time in your schedule for you to give yourself the gift of exercise, quiet time, or to do something you enjoy. If you like sports, stop by an athletic game or event this semester. Find an organization that aligns with your interests and passions.

5. Ask for help! If you are stressed, feel overwhelmed or have personal problems that are distracting and interfering with your academic success, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Visit the Office of Student Services as soon as you need academic accommodations or have an unforeseen emergency that could affect your academics. Remember, University Counseling Services or Student Services is always available if needed.

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6. Manage your time! Work towards finding an appropriate school-life balance. Keep in mind that you are a student first when prioritizing your time. I suggest maintaining an active calendar and planner to optimize your time and stay organized. Be proactive in planning your schedule, know your deadlines as this could be the difference between procrastinating and checking things off your to-do list.

7. Find an accountability partner! Accountability partners are great; they encourage and support us as we work toward achieving our goals. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a book, exercise regularly, or start a home-based business. Tell someone who will help keep you accountable and check in with you weekly to review your progress. It works great to have an accountability partner who has some similar goals.

Our goal is to see your learning be transformed into practical experiences. I challenge you this semester to actively chase your dreams and to be tenacious in your pursuit. Continue to use your voice for good, in truth and service, helping others rise as you climb.

Many blessing to you in all your endeavors this semester and see you on the Yard!

With Bison Pride,

Kenneth Holmes, Vice President for Student Affairs

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