Be punctual: Being late for class is a sign of disrespect. It tells the instructor you don’t want to be in his class or that you don’t take the class seriously. You also miss important information when you are late. Do you like it when people are late for something you’ve planned? Of course not. The instructor has spent time preparing for the class and you should give the instructor the time you have scheduled for his class. Besides, you have spent money for the class so you should show up on time to get what you paid for. Being punctual also helps when it comes time for grading. Grading is subjective and you want to do everything you can to leave a positive impression in your instructor’s mind so he can remember you this way doing grading. Being late for class doesn’t make a positive impression. So if you are habitually late, why should he sweat over your grade? Take my word for it, show up on time.
Do the homework: It is a waste of your time and the instructor’s time if you just sit in class but never do the assignments. Not doing class assignments is a guaranteed way to fail. Instructors use assignments to determine your knowledge and your grade. Assignments also help you to learn more about your field of study. Instructors can also tell if you half-heartedly completed an assignment. And don’t wait until the last minute to do your assignment. If you start early you will have a better product than if you waited until the due date to start on it.
Ask questions: Some people think asking questions is dumb. In reality it’s just the opposite. Instructors like students who ask questions. It shows you are interested in the class and that you really want to learn more about the subject the instructor is an expert in. The question you ask is probably the same question several other students in the class want answered so you’ll be doing them a favor.
Be confident: As an instructor, I like students who are confident in their abilities and act on them. Many times students are afraid to speak up in class or write a paper about an interesting subject because they are afraid what the instructor or their fellow students may think. As a result research papers or projects are sometimes dull and boring because they cover “safe” topics. It’s okay to be afraid. It’s not okay to let fear keep you from doing something you really want do. So go ahead and write that paper you’ve been longing to write or start on that project that you truly believe in. Be confident and be able to back up your findings or conclusions with evidence.
Volunteer: College instructors like students who volunteer. Volunteerism shows you want to really want to get involved in your major or your school. You don’t have to volunteer for something big. It could be something as simple as agreeing to be a group discussion leader or leading a class project. It could be volunteering to be on a student committee or to be on the board of a student chapter of an organization. Find ways to volunteer. This will not only help your grades but it can also enhance your studies.
Be prepared for tests: Depending on your instructor, you may not know when she may call a pop quiz. Successful students are prepared and always ready. You can be prepared by reading the class material before the class, participating in class discussions, and by doing the assignments and exercises in your textbook.
Get to know people: Successful people network. You have to do the same too, even on a college campus. When you get to know people on campus they share with you information that they have. This information can help you in a class, help you to save money or a purchase, assist you in choosing a class, or even choosing a major. Networking is a very important tool in the world of business so you might as well practice the skill while you are in college.
Remember that you can be a success in college. Yes it’s hard but you can do it!
Bruce Gibbs is a college instructor and the author of the college success book, The Secret to College Success. You can visit the book’s web site at MyCollegeSuccess.com or pick up a copy at Amazon.com.