Survival Tips

Here is a list of ideas to consider to ease this time of transition in your life:

  • Manage Your Time

    • Write down your class schedule, personal appointments, and activities.
    • Set a schedule for yourself.  Although this schedule may change, try to stick to a basic regiment during the week.
    • Create a daily “to do” list.
    • Make time for homework, fun time, and rest.
    • Prioritize!
  • Reduce Stress

    • Avoid overuse of caffeine and other stimulants.  This is only a temporary fix.
    • Keep a well balanced diet.  Try to incorporate fruits, vegetables and whole grain into your diet.  Also, be sure to be well hydrated with water throughout the day.
    • Motivate yourself to do extracurricular activities.
    • Take naps or breaks during the day to revitalize your mind.
    • Balance and adjust your schedule to accommodate your needs.
    • Make friends and create your own support group.
    • Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule of 7 to 9 hours per night.  Unfortunately, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to many side effects including lack of concentration, irritability, and overreacting to normal situations.
    • Pursue your goals and focus on what you need in order to be successful.
  • Class & Study Management

    • Be early and prepared for class.  You may think being late is not a problem, however this type of tardiness does not earn respect from your instructors, advisers, peers or school administration.  You may be missing opportunities due to your lack of commitment.
    • There are several ways to be proactive in your education.  If you find that you are falling behind, talk to your instructors, advisers and other students.  Get involved!  You may find that other students have formed a study group that you can join.  Talk to the administration office about available resources.  Find out what LAAFA has to offer you.
    • Be responsible.  Choose to create good study habits.  You may need to be flexible and have to adjust your schedule to accommodate your school load.  Be sure to map out your weekly schedule with your calendar and allow enough time for studying.  This will also elevate unnecessary stress.
  • Reach Out and Get Involved

    • Talk with students, instructors, advisers, and the school administrators.
    • There are international community organizations in Los Angeles to help and welcome you.
    • Religious Institutions are a great way to feel welcomed in the community.
    • Visiting Parks and Recreation, City Leagues, YMCA and local gyms are an easy way to meet new people and participate in your favorite sporting activities.
    • You may take advantage of local community colleges that offer adult education programs for an inexpensive alternative.  These classes can include: ESL (English as a Second Language), Computers, Cooking, Crafts and several other options.
  • American Culture & Customs

    • Greeting people in social and professional situations:  Students generally greet peers by using their first name.  It is customary to greet instructors, professionals, and initial introductions by using a surname (Mr., Mrs., Dr.) followed by their last name.  Common greetings used in the US are “Hello”, “Hi”, followed by a “How are you”, “Nice to Meet you”.  It is also customary to greet with a handshake for both men and women.
    • Just as being on time for your class, punctuality is very important for your daily life.  By being late you may jeopardize your appointments and may then need to reschedule for another date, which is not an efficient use of your time.  This also applies to professional appointments.  You never want to be late for a job interview.
    • Personal hygiene is very important for personal and professional success. Be sure to bath and brush your teeth frequently, and see a doctor if you have any medical issues that need to be treated.
    • Personal space is also very important.  Always allow enough space between you and the other person.  If you notice that people are backing away, you will need to adjust your spacing.  As equally as important is personal property.  Always ask if you may borrow someone’s personal item(s).  It is not considered polite to take anything without asking for permission first.
  • Confidentiality

    It is crucial that students feel comfortable to talk honestly about any situations or concerns that they may have or encounter.  To promote a candid discussion with the administration office, all communications are confidential as specified by the state law.