CeCe Boyles, assistant director of the Academic Success Center, with two of her tutors.

Bill Hogarth’s blog: Students can get the help they need at the Academic Success Center

We are past the mid-point in the fall semester. It’s a good time for students to take stock – especially freshmen.

Are you where you want to be? Do you need to buckle down and focus on what it will take to succeed? Are you uncertain how to do it?

It’s not unusual to find yourself behind midway through a semester. It happened to me when I was an undergraduate at the University of Richmond. I went from a small town of 600 to a small university in a big city. It was a rude awakening. I wasn’t used to studying in high school or applying myself. But I got some guidance and some personal attention and got back on track.

I asked CeCe Boyles, assistant director of the USFSP Academic Success Center, to offer some advice for students, especially freshmen who are away from home for the first time and might be worried that they are falling behind.

At USF St. Pete, freshmen get mid-term grades, which sophomores, juniors and seniors don’t get. Think of it as an early warning system. Of course, warnings don’t work unless you heed them.

If you need help, start with your professor. After all, who knows best what it will take for you to succeed? Our professors really care and want their students to succeed.

But you can also get help at the Academic Success Center in Terrace 301. Tutoring and online programs are available to assist you. You can get help with an upcoming test, a paper or some particularly difficult homework. You’ll probably find other students just like you, maybe someone in one of your classes. Sometimes study groups are formed from chance meetings at the center.

Just don’t wait till the last minute. It might be too late.

And don’t ever think there’s a stigma about asking for help. Some of our best students go to the Academic Success Center because they want to get better. You feel better once you get back on track.

Success breeds success.

I’m glad I got the help I needed when I was an undergraduate. I hope you do too.