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First Six Weeks Checklist

Your First Six Weeks as a Mustang - Fall Semester

Week Before Classes Begin

  • Print your class schedule.
  • Purchase textbooks and necessary school supplies.
  • Download D2L Brightspace Pulse to stay organized and on track with course requirements. 
  • Explore campus and the city of Marshall.
  • Purchase a 2023-2024 planner.
  • Begin to check your SMSU email daily. (As a reminder, this is how SMSU faculty & staff will communicate with you.)
  • Stay current with campus news and events by making SMSU Today your homepage:
  • Participate in Mustang Gold Rush Days August 17-20, 2023 to make friends, meet SMSU faculty/staff, but most of all to have fun and help ease your transition into SMSU.
  • Build a relationship with your Resident Assistant & Orientation Leader.
  • Follow the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center on Instagram  @smsusuccess

Week 1

  • Go to class.
  • Read the syllabus for each of your classes thoroughly. Understand what professors expect from you as a student.
  • Get organized by entering the due dates of class projects, papers, assignments, exams into your planner from each of your course syllabi.
  • Stop in the SMSU McFarland Library and take a look around all four floors to see the services, collections, and study areas that are available to you!
  • Meet minimum payment criteria to stay enrolled in classes by Friday, August 25, 2023. (Click here for more payment policy details.)
  • Finalize fall semester class schedule by Friday, August 25, 2023. (This is the last day you can add or drop classes with a refund.)
  • Review the Resource Guide for Mustang Success to become familiar with available support services at SMSU should you need to access them at any time.
  • Stop by the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center in Individualized Learning (IL) 224 if you have any questions or concerns about your college experience.
  • Surround yourself with positive role models and friends.

Week 2

  • Go to class.
  • Get to know your professors by introducing yourself during their scheduled office hours or before/after class. Building this relationship is key to your success!
  • Attend the part-time job & volunteer fair on  Tuesday, August 22, 2023 from 11:00am - 1:00pm in the upper Student Center. For more information, contact Career Services at 507-537-6221 or email
  • Get involved on campus and attend the club/organization activities fair on  Wednesday, August 30, 2023 from 11:00am-1:00pm in the upper Student Center. 
  • If you did not meet your Academic Advisor during Gold Rush Days, it is important that you schedule a time to do so. (Advisor information can be found on your DARS report and in e-services. Contact information can be found using the following website:
  • Set personal & academic goals. Give yourself something to strive for this semester!
  • Be open to making new friends in your classes. Remember, some of these friends could be a helpful study buddy in the future.

Week 3

  • Go to class.
  • Attend the 11th annual Mustang Success Night for new first-year students being held on  Wednesday, September 6, 2023 from 7-9pm in the upper level Conference Center (welcome/keynote) and Student Center (support services/career exploration fair). For more information, contact Hannah Kuno, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, at
  • If you find yourself into a bind, don’t forget to utilize our helpful resources made available to you on campus.
  • Seek tutoring help if needed in the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center (IL 224), (D2L Brightspace), Math Learning Center (IL 224), or Writing Center (BA 527).
  • Attend a club/organization meeting that is of interest to you.
  • Enhance your college experience by seeking out volunteer opportunities in the Marshall community by clicking here.
  • Visit the SMSU Center for Civic & Community Engagement website to learn about additional ways you can make a difference in our community:

Week 4

  • Go to class.
  • Prep for any upcoming quizzes or exams. (Did you know you should spend two hours studying for every hour in class?)
  • Schedule a meeting with the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center or Early Alert Intervention Team Member if you received an alert in any of your classes. (You will be notified via SMSU email and/or phone if applicable).
  • Take a break. Visit downtown Marshall to shop and dine with friends:

Week 5

  • Go to class.
  • Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising a ½ hour 3-5 times a week, and getting 8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Participate in campus events and activities.
  • Visit local parks and bike trails to check out the beautiful fall colors and scenery. (Camden State Park is within 15 minutes and Garvin Park is within 20 minutes from Marshall.)
  • Invite your family to attend Family Weekend  September 22-24, 2023.

Week 6

  • Go to class . (You are half-way through the semester… Don’t stop now!)
  • Pay your tuition bill by Monday, September 25, 2023. (If you are on a SMSU payment plan, $30 charge will apply and 1/2 of your total account balance must be paid.)
  • Touch base with your professors to discuss your grade and determine what strategies are necessary to finish the semester strong.
  • Evaluate what changes need to occur to meet your goals that you set for yourself during week two.
  • Celebrate being a Mustang and show your brown & gold pride on Saturday, October 14, 2023 for SMSU Homecoming(Don’t forget to check out all the pre-homecoming festivities all week.)
  • If you are an undeclared major, consider meeting with Career Services (BA 156) or simply utilize the FOCUS tool on their website to help you identify possible career paths:

Last Modified: 6/13/23 2:38 PM | Website Feedback