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Here are some things that will help you as you get started.


Courage and Determination

College is not "top 10% hard," but doing well takes serious effort and determination. Constantly tell yourself: I can do this! I may not know how right this second, but I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO SUCCEED. If you do, you WILL succeed. 

Shift in Responsibilities 

Your elementary and middle school teachers made sure you did your work and turned it in on time. Here, you are in charge of what you do and when you do it. You are responsible for setting aside time to do your assignments. Do it or don't do it - it is your choice. If you put "play time" before your school responsibilities, you will not succeed. 

You MUST Ask Questions.

It is critical that you know what you are supposed to do. If you don't know what your Professor expects you to do, how can you possibly do it? You must be willing to ask guestions until you understand. 

You WILL Have Homework

You will have homework that has to be done outside of class. It is your responsibility to get it done and turned in on time. No one is going to remind you, ask you to do it, etc. See Shift in responsibilities above. 

Be Prepared For Class

Most college Professors do not accept late work. I am not trying to be mean, but unless there is a genuine emergency, I do not care what your excuse is. A good rule of thumb is: Early is on time, on time is late! 

Be Mature and Respectful

TVCC Professors absolutely will not tolerate behavior issues in our classrooms. If you cannot conduct yourself appropriately, you will not be attending class. 


When your Professor is talking, focus and listen. When your Professor is talking, BE PREPARED TO TAKE NOTES. Have paper out and a pen or pencil ready. If you don't know how to take good notes, ask for training. It is a critical skill! 


Reading is another critical skill. Take notes as you read, highlight, write little summaries, etc. 

Be Professional

Being able to speak and write well is part of being an educated person. Get in the habit of using proper grammar when you speak. Force yourself to use proper grammar, punctuation, and capitalization when you write. Never send a Professor an email using "text speak" I'll be SMH ... and not replying. 

Be Friendly

Try to interact with your Profs. They know you are nervous and will try to help you feel at ease. A smile, saying good morning or how was your weekend ... stuff like that. 

Be a Self-Learner

Google and YouTube are your friends! If you are working on something and you don't quite get it, Google or YouTube will give you literally millions of explanations to help make it clear. 

Be Honest and Trustworthy

If you cheat in my class ON ANYTHING you will get an F for the course. Do not plagiarize - cutting and pasting without listing your source is a big no-no. 

Be a Grown Up

You are 14 or 15 years old, but you are going to have to conduct yourself as if you are 18 or 20. 

Enjoy the Ride

You have been given an incredible opportunity. The next 4 years will seem to crawl by at times, but when you look back years later, I hope you will be doing so from the awesome life you made for yourself due, in part, to the education you had the guts to embrace.