A Dozen Tips for the Undergraduate Student

I give students some handouts on college on the first day of class. I list various ways I think students might perform well, no matter how obvious, because students (especially freshman) are not yet acculturated into the university. I consider:

  • How to Approach Class
  • How to Complete Assignments
  • How to Communicate with an Instructor

Some of these guidelines are actually somewhat strict in my mind and don't appear on my syllabi, but I want to equip students with strategies for the range of instructors they will meet.

The Difference Between High School and College 

Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center at Southern Methodist University

Thanks for reading. I'd love to tweak or add to this list, so please comment below with anything you think is missing or could be improved.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this but thought ot focused on courses only whereas a college experience is enriched by other aspects such as extracurricular activities

  2. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, balimaha. I agree with you completely. I didn't include them only because I'm not an expert on the many roles students play outside the classroom in families, jobs, sports, or clubs. So, I'm afraid I don't have much advice to offer there. If you come across a good resource on balancing time and demands, please post it. I'd love to diversify the advice.


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