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Volume 71, Issue 136, Thursday, April 27, 2006


No such thing as TMI

Selam Yemane
Opinion Columnist 

School is almost over and, for some, UH life is about to become history forever. Others are right smack dab in the middle of their UH experiences while some still are only getting started. I'm sure that no matter where you may be in this time line, like me, you have had questions regarding degree requirements and other issues pertaining to graduation. As a transfer student, I know I have definitely had my share of inquiries. As someone who feels her occupation is a lifetime learner, I've learned a thing or two.

One of those things is that research is essential even though information may not be that easy to find sometimes. It would be a shame to be the person who gets told he or she cannot graduate the semester he or she was planning to simply because of something minimal, like overlooking one course requirement, which brings me to my next point. 

My sister used to vent about how people are not sharing all of the information they have. I feel like this is the case in a lot of these situations. I suspect that school personnel may, sometimes, not be totally forthright in what they tell their students. It's almost like I want to yell out, "Yo, dude (or most likely ‘sir/ma'am'), please tell me all that I need to know and not just the answers to the questions I am asking you because I am merely a poor little student who has no clue what to do."

I realize this is not always the case, and I am not placing blame on UH staff in any way. Actually, even after school hopping for a while, I truly believe that UH has excellent and helpful faculty and staff.

I know sometimes it is inevitable that something will be left out or the student won't really be paying attention. As a matter of a fact, I would say that my advising experiences have been pleasant thus far. But I cannot say with certainty that I do not fear that I will be ready to graduate with a certain status on graduation day, only to find out that I didn't read the fine print.

So, here are my two cents on easing those fears. Penny No. 1: ask plenty of questions and come prepared with them to advising sessions. Don't merely depend on one person to tell you all the requirements for graduation, especially if that person is another student. Word of mouth is often a great source of information, but the grapevine definitely should not be your only source. And make sure you always drill your professors with tons of questions. 

Penny No. 2: let's go above and beyond in helping others. If you are a faculty or staff member, please tell us more than we need to know, and if you are a student, help out your peers by giving them info they may need. 

At the end of the day, you really don't want to have to tell grandma that she can hold on to that graduation check for another semester (cause you know you want it).

But I've found one thing to be true. For instance, I went on the UH Web site the other day in an effort to find information about how to graduate with honors. Well, really, you could say that I was trying to find out how badly I could do and still graduate with one of those honors, but don't tell that to any of my professors. I had to navigate the site for a while until I found what I was looking for. 

I'm not going to rag about how information is so hard to find on the Web site because I really don't think it was that bad. Instead, I'm just going to sound like your mama lecturing about the importance of finding out all you can in order to not be left out in the rain come graduation day.

Yemane, an opinion columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at

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