Monday, August 21, 2023

Advice for college students, including my own!


Jonah in 4th Grade

Dear Jonah…

I just can’t believe that today is your first day of college. I am so proud of you! With my 40 plus years of teaching, I am sending along my “Professor” tips so that you will do well in every class.

1.    Sit near the front! I never let my students sit in the very front row (so that I don’t step on them), but I want them close after that. Sitting in the back is very bad!

2.    Do not have your cell phone on or your ear buds in…ever…unless asked to do so. Keep both of those items in your book bag. Don’t even put them on your desk or in your pocket! If there is a reason for your phone to be on with an emergency or anything really important, tell your professor at the beginning of class. They are understanding and will be very willing for you to take the call…outside of class!

3.    After your first class, introduce yourself to your professor. (Even though the roll call will probably be taken!) Shake hands with a firm grip, look your professor in the eye and introduce yourself again. Tell them you are glad to be in their class!

4.    Whenever a professor writes to your class, send a short, brief note thanking them for the memo.

5.    Whenever you do not understand something, ask immediately. Professors and teachers are there to help. They are your cheerleaders. Don’t just walk out wondering what to do or what was said.

6.    Do not ever chew gum. Ever.

7.    Be kind and helpful to all of your classmates. Always.

8.    Do your work on time. Check it. Double check it. Submit it early if you can!

9.    Take the extra credit when offered even if you do not need it! Why not get 110% instead of a100% !

10. Find out the hobbies or interests of your professors and ask them about it on Monday or Tuesday. They will be so impressed that you remembered!

11. Do not be late to class. Sometimes it will happen such as hockey practice early in the morning or a lab. Tell them ahead of time that might happen so they know why you are walking in a few minutes late.

12. When you have outside activities such as hockey games, and you need to miss class, let your professor know. The coaches always send notes to your teachers, but the list is long and they do not have the time to hunt for names and for which class. Tell them ahead of time.

13. When you do miss class because of a lab or a sports event, make sure you know what was covered in class and get the work done. That is your responsibility, not your teacher’s. You need to do the asking.  

14. Do not stay up late and then sleep through the exam the next day. Keep a scheduling book and use it! Get things done early. If you stay up all night to study, you will be exhausted and not do well or then sleep through your class. No excuses for that one. Never.

15. If you are ill, send a quick note to let them know. It takes ten seconds to email your professor. It is appreciated. Do not have a classmate do that for you!

16. Never get your parents involved. You are grown up now. It is your responsibility.

17. Keep a jacket in your bookbag. Classrooms are funny about heat and air. Some rooms (in the same building) can vary ten to fifteen degrees so be prepared.

18. Make sure you always have a tablet of paper and pens and pencils even though you will use your laptop for almost everything. Sometimes you need paper and pencil. Have it ready when it is needed!

19. Smile.

20. Remember, you are the fortunate one for the opportunity to go to college. Not everyone gets this chance. Love every moment. Make friends. Be the guy your classmates can count on. Be the first name your teacher remembers.

This is my list of 20 things. Do well. Study hard and check in with me. I will want to know how it is going.

I love you. Nannie

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