The Jolly Librarian’s Perfectly Obvious Tips for College Success

I have no secrets to share, but these basic tips can make the difference between success and failure in college:

  1. Go to class. Show up. On time. Oh, dear, I can hear you now. But my professor only goes over what was in the book or the PowerPoint slides, etc. I don’t need to go to class to get an A. Get over yourself, and go to class.  Professors explain materials in different ways. Those slides you print out after class are only part of the story.
  2. Buy the textbook. Textbooks are expensive, granted. But they provide good information about your subject. They give you background for the class session and let you know in advance what material you may not understand.
  3. Use the textbook you bought. Do not have a book in pristine condition ready to sell back to the bookstore at the end of the semester. Open that book. Mark up chapters. Take notes in the margins. Weaken its spine from use.
  4. Ask questions in class. And I don’t mean, “Can we leave early?” When you’re confused about something, ask your professor. Don’t worry about the opinions of the other students. After teaching for many, many years, I know one thing for sure: For every student who asks a question, there are ten sitting in the back who needed to have asked it.
  5. Study every day. A constant review is more effective than sporadic cram sessions. Trust me on this. 
  6. Discover your college’s resources.  Go to the library. Find the Learning Center, Career Services, counselors, etc.  Their very purpose is to help you. Use them.

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