College academics differ from that of high school in many ways. Workload will be heavier; studying will be required, as well as writing papers and doing research projects. But in college you’ll also get to choose your classes and schedule. You get to pursue your interests and it is up to you how dedicated you are to classes, attendance, and professors, because let’s be honest this time around you’ll be paying for your schooling.
Depending on how your professor decides to run the class, you could still be held to similar rules to those of high school such as tardy policies and no electronics, but for the most part college classes are exciting and advantageous for your learning because your professors are there to help you academically as well as to be a resource to you, as a colleague and connection to your field of interest in the world outside of college.
One of the greatest things you can take advantage of in college when it comes to your classes is office hours. These are specific hours set aside every week where you can meet with either your professor or teaching assistant to go over homework, course material, etc. It’s a great way to stay on top of your studies while building a personal relationship with your teachers.
This is beneficial because classes in college are not the same size as those in college. Many times college classes will be held in lecture halls and have around one hundred students enrolled, making it very difficult for the professor to learn who everyone’s name is, let alone what their story or goals are.
Getting to know your professors will also sometimes get you leeway in your classes. For instance, say something difficult comes up in your schedule and you need an extension on a paper deadline, a professor who knows you personally is more likely to help you out than a professor who only vaguely recognizes your face from class.
Office hours do not only need to be used for class work. If you’re in a foreign language class, office hours is a great way to practice speaking the language with your teacher, or many times it is just very interesting and inspiring to hear your professor’s story and what their academic and professional life was like.
Spending time with your professors is also a good connection for potential job opportunities. Professors have more likely than not spent a great deal of time working in the field your interested in. They’ve spent years networking and building connections so they know people in the real world who could potentially provide you with internships or jobs that interest you, so never be afraid to ask!
Professors love to interact and share with their students. They provide you with office hours in college so that they can be a resource to you. So don’t be lazy every week and sit in your dorm during office hours. Go to college to soak up as much knowledge and opportunity as you possibly can!
(Photo by Nazarath College under Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0)