The middle of winter is a good time to make plans for the upcoming year. I like to ponder the year ahead, keep track of where I am now, and consider which courses to take next. So it was with great delight I received my 2014 Student Planner and AUSU Handbook in the mail last week. Knowing how useful it was to me last year, I dove right in to the 2014 edition.
If you are an AU undergraduate student and you have not yet ordered your planner, I encourage you to do so. Not only does it provide those essential week-by-week calendar pages, it is also full of helpful information on both AU and AUSU. A perfect accompaniment to your studies this year. Not convinced? Here are ten reasons to love the AUSU student planner/handbook:
1. Free! Let me say it again: Free! No fee, and no shipping or handling. If you are registered in an AU undergraduate course for credit, you can order your copy of the planner. For free.
2. Spiral binding. Lays flat on your desk and stays open to the page you want. Bonus: every bit of the planner is recyclable at the end of the year; see details on page 35.
3. Information central. Students will find perhaps the most information about AU found in any one printed document. (“AU Departments”, 12).
4. Online treasure. Check out some online resources you might have overlooked: AU Press, Counselling Assessments, The Write Site, AU Landing, and more. (“AU Online Finds”, 14).
5. Free money, free services, free help. Scholarships and bursaries from AUSU Awards; free products and services like Smart Draw software and lynda.com online training; student advocacy. (“AUSU Services”, 18).
6. Important Dates and Holidays. Discover what dates AU will be closed this year, and learn the registration and extension deadlines. (“Important Dates”, 40).
7. Planner calendar pages. Here’s the meat of the planner. You get monthly overviews, weekly planning pages, plus pages for notes. Deadlines for course registration and extensions are noted, as are dates AU is closed. Common holidays in other provinces and notable days are marked (including Groundhog day, daylight savings, and phases of the moon.) Tips and quotes appear on the weekly pages to inform and entertain. (“Calendar Pages”, 42).
8. Citations and reference cheat sheets. A quick guide to the most common styles, with general tips and lists of resources. Quick summaries for MLA, APA, and Chicago are included. (“Citation Style Tips”, 228).
9. Assignment log. Keep track of when it’s due, when you submitted it, and when you got it back. Track your in-progress grades for up to 11 courses. A grade conversion chart completes the section. (“GPA Tracking Sheets”, 238).
10. Time zone maps. Never get your tutor out of bed again. International and Canadian time zones, with UTC conversion for Canadian zones. (“World Time Zone Maps”, 262).
The AU Student Union office still has a supply of 2014 planners available for AU undergraduate students (you must be enrolled in at least one AU undergraduate course for credit.) Go to http://www.ausu.org/ and follow the ordering instructions on the front page. Be sure to login to your AUSU member account and update your mailing address first, if necessary. Then watch your mailbox.