How Hard Are College Classes?
College level classes are more challenging than high school classes. You will take classes in subjects that fascinate you, and you will take classes in subjects you may have been able to avoid in high school. You should not see this reality as a barrier, but as a challenge. After all, that's why you have made the important decision to get your college degree. Here are a few important recommendations:
- Take Responsibility —You—not your parents, family members, or teachers—are responsible for your education. As such, you are expected to meet all deadlines for assignments and projects. You'll need to hold yourself accountable for your own performance since your instructors won't "hold your hand" as much as they did in high school. The classic excuse "the dog ate my homework" won't fly in college (and neither will the updated version, "my printer ran out of ink").
- Be Professional —Get in the habit now of acting professional, and reap the rewards of being well-respected and admired in the future. Student professionalism comes across in many ways: how you look, how you act in class, how you interact with other students and your professors, how you speak, and how you write. Make sure your e-mails (and even text messages) to your professors, employers, and other important people are grammatically correct, and use the proper level of formality for the writing situation. Be aware of how your many choices (including what you post on Facebook or other social networking sites) influence others' impressions of you.
- Read and Write More —College requires a lot more reading and writing than high school. Budget your time and activities appropriately. Expect to spend several hours a day on homework and class preparation.
- Check and Re-check Your Grammar — College papers are not written like an e-mail, text message, or blog entry. You are expected to write complete sentences with appropriate punctuation. Grammar can mean the difference between a C paper and an A paper. Make sure to revise and proofread carefully, more than once. It's worth the time — we promise!
- Prepare in Advance — Read your assignments well in advance of the class. Often, you may need to read a chapter or essay several times to get the "most" out of it. And remember, if you're reading, highlighting, underlining, and taking notes, it takes a lot more time than when you're just reading for fun. Budget your time accordingly. The more you prepare in advance, the better questions you can ask about material you did not understand, rather than simply saying "I don't get it."
- Ask for Help — The vast majority of students that end up in academic trouble wait too long to ask for help. Perhaps they were not prepared so they did not realize they were in trouble, they thought they would get out of trouble by themselves, or they were afraid to ask questions earlier. The University provides all kinds of academic help. For example, there are Math and Writing labs, tutors for almost any subject, and office hours available with faculty where you can approach your professor directly.
Remember, you will only get out of a class what you put into it. So why not put in your all?