By Jane Hurst
You’ve graduated from high school, and once the summer is over, you will be heading off to college. Are you ready for this huge change in your life? Many young people go to college thinking they are going to have the time of their lives, only to realize that they were completely unprepared for what was ahead of them. It’s not enough to arrive with a shiny, new Chevrolet Corvette and ready to party. You also need to be ready to take on your responsibilities as a student. Read on to learn more about how you can spend the summer preparing yourself to make sure that you get the most out of your college experience.
Sit at the Front
If you can snag yourself a seat at the front of the class, take it. No, you aren’t going to look like the teacher’s pet. But, you are going to get noticed by the professor. There may be as many as 300 people in a lecture or class, and if you are way in the back, the professor isn’t going to notice you. When you are right in the front, you are going to be able to make eye contact with the professor. Also, it is a lot easier to see and hear what the professor is doing and saying when you are up front, so you will be able to take better notes and achieve better grades. Make sure that your phone is turned off, so you don’t have any distractions or distract the professor and the rest of the class.
Check Your Emails
Before the first semester starts, you will likely get an email from your professor, welcoming you to the program. In this email, there will probably be a bit of information about the class, what you will be learning, and what is expected of you. You will also find out what textbooks you need to have.
Take Part in Class
One of the things that professors look for in students is classroom participation. They know which students are engaged in the work, and you will soon find out that in most of your classes, participation counts for as much as 15% of your final grade. Be sure to ask questions, work with groups, do your homework on time, talk to the professor if you have any problems with the work, etc. Don’t feel stupid about asking a question, because if you are asking, it is likely that someone else in the class has the exact same question but was too afraid to ask.
You may be expected to do some prep work before starting classes in the fall, such as read a certain book. Your professor will let you know about this in the welcome email. It would be in your best interest to take this early homework seriously. If you show up on the first day of classes unprepared, you aren’t going to end up on the good side of your professor. It is important to impress the professor right from day one, so they don’t think that you are going to be a slacker.
If you come from an area where the majority of people are of a certain ethnicity, you may be in for quite a shock when you see the diversity of your new classmates in college. Don’t be afraid to get to know people from different races and backgrounds. You never know who is going to end up becoming your new best friend. You will be meeting a lot of different people, so put yourself out there, be open to new things, and make lots of new friends.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot.