Outside the classroom
Know what your school has to offer: Be aware of the many services your school has to offer, things like career counseling, study abroad, writing centers, gyms, tutors, and more. Many of these are included with your tuition, so take advantage of them all!
Know the pros/cons of the bookstore: Your college bookstore can be great for things like computer hardware or software, because you can often get student discounts on these items. However, your bookstore might be a complete rip-off for just about everything else, so consider buying your textbooks online instead.
Plan early: Take the time to understand exactly what your requirements are for both your major and “general education.” Oftentimes, certain courses are only offered during certain semesters, so it’s a good idea to know what you need before registering and to register for classes early.
Everything in moderation: Getting the most out of your college experience means taking everything in moderation. From eating to partying to studying, it’s important to experience all that college has to offer without over-doing it.
Inside the classroom
Go to class: Unlike high school, attendance is not always mandatory in college classes. The problem with this is the temptation to just skip class altogether. Don’t do this! Chances are you will miss something important.
Always take notes: Many professors will choose to post their lecture notes online, but this is not an excuse to just sit there and daydream during lecture. Actually taking notes helps you remember the material better because you are engaging with it, as opposed to just passively listening.
Don’t procrastinate: Due dates are different in college. In many cases, you will have to set your own work schedule and make yourself stick to it. For example, for your first history exam, you might be responsible for understanding chapters 1-5. Remember your professor won’t always tell you when to read, so rather than cramming the night before the exam, set yourself up for one chapter a week.
Get to know your professors: Professors are great resources! Not only can they help you with your work, but these are also the people who you may need to approach in the future for a letter of recommendation or as a TA/RA applicant.