In my junior year of high school, I decided to take a creative writing class. It turned out that the class was only meant for seniors and it was not just to freely write. This class taught the seniors (and the lone junior) that there are several things that should be understood before college. These tips that I learned can definitely help you too.
1. Presentations are important.
Sometimes presentations and participation are crucial for doing great in classes. It could be that your teacher stresses its importance or it is a large percentage of the class. Either way, this is an important skill you should have. If you haven't been good at presentations in the past, be aware of this. The best thing to do is to make sure you clearly understand the teacher's expectations and requirements for each presentation. Be sure to take the time to rehearse what you're going to say (and not just the day before). Ask a friend to sit in and listen, it will make things much easier when it's your turn to go.
2. Speak Up!
If you are soft spoken, then this is for you. Speak up! You know how annoying it is to have someone interrupt you and say, "speak louder" or "I can't hear you." Maybe you have even encountered people who let you ramble on, only to respond and say, "I didn't hear anything you said." I know, it's exhausting. Make sure you project your voice loud enough so the professor can hear you. Have some authority and make sure any everybody can hear your voice.
3. Dear Professor Schmedlock...
In my creative writing class, my teacher gave us this as in-class assignment. The goal was to write to Professor Schmedlock (an imaginary professor) and explain why you should get a seat in his class. Maybe this one is a little old school, but you never know. Perhaps you may end up having to explain why you should be in a class to get a spot. If not this "Dear Professor..." is a good start in sending any professor an email.
4. Be on time.
You heard this before: just don't be late. Professors will go as far as locking you out, even if you're only a minute late. They'd rather you be early. Don't risk it.
5. Talk with teachers.
My creative writing teacher talked with the students all the time. They talked just about anything: schoolwork, news, school events, etc. Don't be afraid to talk with them, they are normal people like you.
6. Late work = zero.
Yes, late work is an automatic zero. Like my creative writing teacher said, "If you turn it in late, there will be no mercy." If you think you'll have any problems turning something in on time, talk to your professor. Do not email them in the middle of the night when you've had four energy drinks and feel like crashing. Don't do it. Just chat with them honestly and see what they tell you. By the way, talking with them face-to-face is better than emailing.
7. Things may not always turn out great, but make the most of it!
Even though you get stuck with a class or professor you may not like, try to get what you can out of it. Have an open mind and try your best to do well. I was stuck in a class with all seniors and had a few not-so-great encounters with my teacher. Despite that, I learned to enjoy the projects and did my best.
Remember these things and you'll be in a good position with your classes and professors this fall!
Lead Image Credit: Green Chameleon via Unsplash