The BMCC #FuturePanther Blog

6 Sure-fire Ways to Crush Your Fall Semester

“Always ask for a business card from everyone you speak with so you can follow up with that person if you need to.”
John Doe

Whether you are entering a college classroom for the first time or returning to a familiar routine, we know that you have big goals for this semester.

We asked the advisors, mentors, and teachers of BMCC to give you some advice on how to succeed this fall. Believe it or not, studying more didn’t even come up once. Check out what they said you should be doing more of:

#1 Grab a business card.

“Always ask for a business card from everyone you speak with so you can follow up with that person if you need to.” ─ Karine Sipel, BMCC ASAP Recruitment Specialist

Having personal contact info for campus recruiters, academic advisors, professors, tutors, counselors, and others means you can avoid emailing or calling a generic office inbox and go straight to the person who remembers you. They will likely reply faster and help you better.

If someone doesn’t have a business card to give you, ask them to write down their work email and phone number on a flyer or scratch piece of paper. Or, take a note of their contact details on your phone.

Keep the contacts you gather in a safe place. Take pictures of business cards and save them to your phone, or create a new contact. Take a note of when and where you met this person – details like that shine in an email to them later on.

#2 Learn your professors’ names.

“This seems like something obvious, but you’d be surprised how many students can’t name even one of their professors by name!” — Lisa Kasper, Director of BMCC Admissions.

Learn all your professors’ names (and how to spell them!) each semester and get to know something about each of them. Simply put, it’s the respectful thing to do. Making the effort is good practice in professionalism. Also, it’s pretty hard to ask your previous professors for a letter of recommendation for scholarship or jobs if you can’t remember who to email and ask!

If you meet a faculty or staff member you really connect with, stay in touch. They can be a great resource throughout your time at BMCC, at four-year colleges, as you begin your career, and beyond. After you’ve left their class, send them a message once a year to let them know how you’re doing.

#3 Make space for quiet moments between classes.

“Just a few minutes of mindfulness changes everything. Practice for just 5-6 minutes every day.” – Shane Snipes, Business Management instructor.

Stop. Breathe. Check in with yourself. The practice of “mindfulness” is all about being really, really aware of what you are thinking and feeling in one moment. Sit by yourself in a quite space, or find a calm place to slowly walk. Purposefully think about accepting yourself and the things your are feeling right NOW.

Prof. Snipes recommends downloading a phone app like Flipd ( or SBT ( to help guide your meditation time.

#4 If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tell someone.

“When you are feeling overwhelmed, tell someone!  There is so much support on campus for you.” ─ Carrie Gheith, CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) counselor

College is meant to be hard and challenge you to grow. But sometimes homework, studying, exams, and outside obligations can become overwhelmingly stressful. That’s ok!

Students fail not because they encounter moments like that, but because they don’t ask for help when they reach that moment. Tell someone when you are feeling like you can’t make it through.

Every staff and faculty member at BMCC can get you connected to study help, tutoring, mental health services, economic support, and more. We can make sure you have what you need to learn and grow, but first we need to hear about it.

#5 Visit the library.

“Visit the Library early and often!  Librarians can help you with research, formatting citations, assessing the quality of your sources, and more.” — Kathleen Dreyer, BMCC Chief Librarian

Work smarter with a visit to the incredible information wizards known as librarians. The library is an amazing resource. Borrow a laptop, scientific calculator, or battery charger. Request materials from other libraries. Get guidance searching online databases for your next research paper. Grab a private study space at a cubicle or reserved group meeting room.

Textbooks for all current BMCC courses are available to use in the Library. Borrow one for a few hours to do your homework rather than buying the expensive book!

#6 Communication is key.

“If a student’s contact information is out of date, [we] can’t reach out and offer the student assistance or referrals to one of BMCC’s many support services or to outside services.” — Rosalie Gleicher, Associate Professor of Human Services

Lots of people want to be there for you, but if they can’t reach you, they can’t answer your questions. Take time to check your personal information in CUNYfirst, and add a current email, cellphone, home phone, address, and any other ways you want professors and staff to get in touch. If anything changes, be sure to update CUNYfirst, but also tell your professor before or after class.

Check your email at least once a day to make sure you aren’t missing out on anything in your classes or around campus.


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