Ball State University’s fall semester 2011 classes have begun and with that our new and returning students are in our campus’ halls, classrooms, specialized departments and schools, and in the University Libraries. It is wonderful to see eager, fresh faces full of great expectations and plans for a busy year of learning, academic achievement, new experiences and discoveries, and making friends.
I especially extend a warm welcome to members of the Class of 2015. I congratulate you for your academic success that has brought you to this point and for your decision to pursue the next phase of your academic career at Ball State. You have made many people proud and are now prepared to begin the next chapter of your life as a student and future Ball State graduate.
For these members of the Class of 2015, the nation’s very first Internet class, I would like to share a few thoughts with you about how you might benefit from the next four years to gain all that you can from your university experiences. I very much encourage you to add suggestions to this short list by speaking with faculty, advisors, and other university personnel who will always champion your success. Discuss these ideas with your parents, family members, and other loved ones and friends, too, since you have many people who stand with you as you prepare for tomorrow. There is greatness within you, and studying at Ball State University is one of the ways you are preparing yourself to lead an extraordinary life.
- Your next four years at the university span about 1,460 days. Envision each of these days as one page in a book that contains 1,460 blank pages, where each day you record your daily academic progress on a new page. This book about your life at Ball State University has a first page, much like your first day at the University, and it has a last page, where you write about your graduation. You are the author of all the pages that record your daily successes and accomplishments. You, and only you, are personally responsible for your academic success and the daily tracking of that march to success will validate and document progress toward your goals.
- Attending a university is about learning, gaining new experiences, social interaction, and discovering new opportunities. A starting point is to join and participate in activities like clubs, residence hall life, fraternities/sororities, athletics, writing for the Daily News, participating in student government, studying abroad, earning money through work-study programs, volunteering your time to help others, attending receptions and parties, and being involved in academic social media, too. Also, take full advantage of the University’s programs and resources such as music concerts, the Museum of Art, live theater, prose and poetry readings, and other special events held at, for example, Emens Auditorium. Of course, be mindful to budget your time with your academic obligations, which must always be your first priority.
- As a university student, you have come through a door and will discover new and sundry exciting vistas. Your past is now behind you and the shaping of your future is in your hands. Probably, you will never again be asked about your high school ranking or grades or what position you played in a sporting activity. Yet, in your future, you will always be asked about your university grades and will have to provide your transcript, even 20 or 30 years from now when you will have long been away from the university. Safeguard your academic performances and reputation, and strive to excel in your academic pursuits to obtain valuable academic credentials that will be used, appreciated, prized and honored for a lifetime.
I personally invite you to come to the University Libraries often to seek help and assistance from our professional librarians as you conduct research, investigate, and make inquiries in order to complete your class assignments, such as writing papers and producing creative projects. Learn about and make extensive use of the Libraries’ informational materials, many of which are conveniently accessible digitally 24/7 via the Internet in your residence hall, apartment, or directly to your smartphone.
I encourage you to make extensive use of the Libraries’ technology resources and software, and study often in the Libraries either individually or in teams. All of these resources can be an integral part of your academic success plan when you use them.
Your success is important to us at Ball State and to those who support you as you prepare for your lifetime. – Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of the University Libraries ◙