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11 Pointers for College Success from College Professors

As a professor, it is my desire to see students succeed after finishing their college education. Unfortunately, students are often clueless, and more often than not, ignorant of their environment. For these reasons, I compiled a list of 11 points that students can use for college success.

College Is Not High School

Most students assume that college is just a higher level of high school, and apply the same principles. Their grave mistakes may often lead them to failure and frustration. While memorizing facts may have worked well for you in high school, only a clear understanding of concepts will get you through college. As professors, we only provide you with necessary information and guides that you need for further research. It is your job to find the libraries, whether physical or online, to gather all the information needed. If you want to succeed, understand the objectives of each unit, and learn how to apply the information you know, instead of cramming.

Study Your Syllabus

Unfortunately, many students tend to dismiss their syllabus and end up missing deadlines, or not giving the best to their assignments. At the beginning of each semester, lecturers provide a draft of the syllabus for their classes. Gather all the drafts for every class you will be taking, find out all the necessary dates, and course objectives to plan your semester.

Know Your Lectures and Talk to Them

It is common for students to ignore us in class, in the corridors, for all their time on campus. It is unfortunate that students believe that we are boring and have nothing more to offer than the words and slides we present in class. Talking to your lecturer could actually give you a head start and keep you ahead of other students. We remember all the students that interact with us both inside and outside of class. You do not have to try too hard to please us or stalk us, just show genuine interest and enjoy the benefits.

Stay Alert

As the classes rage on, I often insist on certain points and topics that are crucial to the topic of study. These key points may come as points across the boards, assignments, blogs, or reports. It is your responsibility to be alert when these hints cross your path, and jolt them down for your own benefit, especially during exams.

Polish Your Writing

Whether you consider writing boring or tiring, you can only survive campus by improving your writing. Everything you do, form your notes, assignments, research papers, and emails require clear, concise and more importantly correct grammar. I assure you that no professor is interested in reading a paper with simple grammatical errors. Take time to polish your work, and learn to be a better writer, because you will also need it in the job world.

Etiquette And Courtesy Are Important.

While it is true that students and lecturers are culturally different, it goes without saying that good manners are appreciated in every generation. We are just as busy as you are, and a good email will steer us towards helping you. Train yourself to address your lecturers appropriately, and follow protocol during meetings. Remember that you may need a recommendation from us, and a poorly drafted email will only earn your disapproval.


Train Yourself to Do More Than Is Expected.

Mediocrity is so popular it’s almost normalized. It is my belief that no one was born into mediocrity, but over time, we all lose the enthusiasm. I hear students asking what they should know about the examinations, and it saddens me deeply because college is about gaining information and sharpening skills. There is no limit to the kind of information you should know. If you give your all during studies and research, you will definitely pass your papers.


Surround yourself with friends, family, classmates, and lecturers that motivate you. The community around you influences your habits, and your desire to succeed. You need people that can push you in the right direction, provide reliable advice, and help you in times of trouble.

Manage Your Time

Well, there isn’t much you can do about the time allocated to your lectures, you have control over all the free time you have. Allocate the time appropriately, to ensure that you meet all deadlines, and still study as expected. Instead of taking unnecessary naps, or going out with your friends throughout the week, take time to reconsider. Plan out your semester using the syllabus, but also remember to have enough time to unwind and rest. College is only for a short while. Make it count.

Find Internships and Other Non-Paid Programs for Experience

Signing up for an internship program during the weekend or holidays will ensure that you gain non-academic experience outside of school. These chances are important in giving you experience and giving you an edge over other candidates during an interview. I understand that no one likes to work for free but think of it as a way of securing a job in the future. The more experience you have, the more competent you are.

If you have to work, try to negotiate payment with some of the employees, to cater for lunch and travel expenses. An internship opportunity could turn into permanent employment, and if you do it right, your employer will readily offer a recommendation letter.

Understand The Policies

The university and its lecturers all have policies that they use to operate the college. Read them and understand them. Some lecturers are very strict on attendance, others will never forgive a late assignment, while others despise being disrespected. Understand each of their characters to avoid trouble. Colleges also have strict rules on punishing dishonesty, especially plagiarism.

If you are having trouble with an assignment, ask for help, instead of copying, because you will get caught. The penalties are often severe, and you may end up destroying your future. The librarians and lecturers are very helpful in paper writing. You should also consider signing up for a writing class, whether on or off campus. As mentioned before, writing is essential in college, and you will do it form the first of your last year. Master the art of writing if you want to succeed.

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