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"I Don't Know..." Is No Excuse.

By the time you reach college, you are responsible for your own academic life. The best way to arm yourself for that responsibility is with information. Here is what you need:

  • a LIU Post undergraduate bulletin
  • a LIU Post Student Handbook
  • an Honors Program pamphlet and all of the information sheets available from the Honors Program and Merit Fellowship office
  • your admissions letter and all scholarship letters
  • a calendar used exclusively to note important college dates such as exams, Merit Fellowship meetings, paper deadlines, due dates of all kinds, appointments with faculty members, other students, academic advisors
  • planned study time

Get the idea! Students frequently come into the Honors Program with pleas that begin "I didn't know...(fill in the blank!)

Here are some Merit Fellowship versions: "I didn't know...

  • that I had to go to five Merit Fellowship meetings. Yes, you do.
  • that the Merit Fellowship meeting was changed. Yes, it might be. Stop by the office to check the bulletin board every week.

Now some Honors Program versions: "I didn't know...

  • that there is a deadline for Tutorial and Thesis registration. Yes, it is posted on the door.
  • that I was supposed to meet with my tutorial/thesis advisor every week. Yes, you are. Tutorial and Thesis are independent study courses that require weekly meetings and discussion.
  • that I'm not supposed to take an INC in an Honors course. You are only permitted to take INC grades in Tutorial and Thesis, and only when your mentor agrees that more time and work will improve your research or paper.
  • that there is a due date for Tutorial and Thesis submission. Yes, it is on the form itself.
  • that I had to go to a Tutorial/Thesis Colloquium. Yes, you do. One each term that you are engaged in this work. All students are welcome to come to as many as they like in order to learn more about the process.

And now for some general versions:

  • that I had to take (fill in the course). Know your requirements.
  • that X (fill in the blank) was going to be on the exam. Be sure that you understand exactly what is going to be covered on every exam you take.
  • that FAF forms have to be submitted every year for scholarship renewals. Yes they do, and there is a deadline. Check with financial aid.

Know exactly what you have to do, and do it!