Get organized – Use Google Calendar on all of your devices to keep everything you need to know in one place. Set reminders or notifications as needed. Add classes, due dates, set aside time for homework, club meetings, personal or Starfish appointments, and important deadlines like housing and registration.
Communicate proactively – Send your accommodations letters as early in the semester as you can, and request use of accommodations proactively (usually at least a week in advance). It’s always best to share concerns with a processor or an advisor sooner, rather than waiting until you are overwhelmed or a problem gets too big.
Communicate professionally – Write professional emails to the faculty and staff you interact with. Include a greeting, your student ID#, course information, the purpose of your communication, proper punctuation and tone, and an appropriate closing with your full name. Do not send emails that resemble texts, or several brief emails in a short period of time. Allow time for people to respond, especially if you reach out at night or over a weekend. Remember to respond to emails in a timely manner too.
Set reasonable and fair expectations – of your roommates, yourself, and your professors. People are imperfect, and may not think, communicate, or experience things the same way you do. People have difficult days, say things they don’t mean, and behave in ways they are not proud of. Grace, compassion, and flexibility go a long way. Remember that students at all levels and ages are adjusting too. Clearly and fairly communicate what you need and how you feel. People aren’t mind readers.
Know yourself as a person and a learner – Know what your diagnoses entail, what you need to focus, study, and be successful in your classes. In college, professors are experts in their field of study, and it is the student’s job to make sure they use their self-knowledge to get the most out of each course.
Be responsible – You are expected to take care of yourself, and to know URI’s policies and conduct expectations, as well as the expectations and requirements of each of your classes. Work should be submitted on time, class attended regularly, and help sought before a problem gets too big. Make good choices about the use of your time, and remember that in adulthood, sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t always feel comfortable or good in the moment.