A FRESHMAN’S TIPS: PRIORITY POINTS

I think that everyone can admit that they have been stressing out to some degree about the Priority Point reports that came out at the end of January. This year’s Priority Point system was completely revamped and new to all of us, and all of our Residence Directors and RA’s. Instead of being based on a 36-point scale, it is now based only out of 30 points. Because the Class of 2017 is the first to experience the 30-point system, there are a lot of questions that we have that cannot be answered by upperclassmen or our RA’s and RD’s. They can give us some helpful advice, but they still do not have exact numbers to go off of like they have in years past, when the 36-point system was used year after year.

After hours of personally stressing out about Priority Points along with the majority of the freshmen class, I have come up with a list of tips to keep in mind about the Priority Point system as a whole.

1) It Is Just a Number

At the end of the day, your Priority Point number does not define who you are by any means. Just because you did not earn all 30 points does not make you any less of a great person. There’s no need to beat yourself up about the points you received after only one semester at school. If you earned a lower number of points than you expected, don’t fret because there are so many ways to improve your Priority Point number for future semesters.

2) The Little Things Add Up

One of the easiest things to do at Marist is get involved. There is an endless list of clubs and activities that appeal to the wide variety of interests that our student body has. In a semester, you can earn a maximum of four priority points for your involvement with clubs, activities, and service on campus. This is the “Campus Activity” portion of your report. So if your Campus Activity section was lacking this past semester, you have a lot of solutions to choose from to improve this element of your Priority Point report.

For example: Play an intramural sport. Go to your Residence Hall’s weekly RHC meetings. Join a club that has something to do with your major. Join a club that has absolutely nothing to do with your major but is something that you are interested in! All of these activities that Marist offers are easy and fun ways to get involved doing something simple (usually only once or twice a week for a couple hours) and meet new people that share similar interests as you.

3) Stay Smart In and Out of Class

By far the most important categories on the Priority Point report are based on GPA, Room Condition/Damage, and Discipline. Marist’s website offers a breakdown for GPA and Priority Points and here it is pasted below:

Cumulative G.P.A. Points
3.85 – 4.00 12
3.60 – 3.84 11
3.25 – 3.59 10
3.00 – 3.24 9
2.75 – 2.99 7
2.50 – 2.74 6
2.25 – 2.49 5
2.00 – 2.24 4
0.50 – 1.99 1
0.00 – 0.49 0

If your Priority Point score was lowered by your grades, then focus on getting better grades this semester! Marist’s Writing Center, tutoring services, and Math Lab are just three examples of ways that you can improve your grades in classes that you may be struggling in.

Other than grades, focus on staying smart outside of class. Avoid punching holes in your walls. Treat your mind and body with respect. Treat others with respect. Just use common sense.

4) Don’t Stress Out To Much

It’s March, one of the most stressful times of the year. Midterms are coming up, seemingly everyone has been sick/is getting sick/is already sick, and there are some big decisions that need to be made for next year. For freshmen at Marist, this week is the final stage of their first housing selection process. Priority Points have been the topic of countless conversations with our peers as we all try to figure out what is going to happen next year. All in all, remember that your Priority Points are just a number. You won’t lose friends just because you did not receive all 30 points. Keep your head up and finish the semester strong so that your Priority Point report next January will be even better than the one from this year.

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