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Professor's Top 10 for Student Success

It is that time of year! Can you feel the excitement and anticipation of a new school year in the air? The promise of a fresh start and a clean slate is a beautiful thing.

This is a post that is intended for your Ole Miss student to read, take in, and follow. As a career educator, I have the inside scoop as a University of Mississippi instructor as to what your student needs to know and do to be a successful student. Below are my top 10 tips to share with your favorite student:

1. Go to class! Go to class! Go to class! I can not sing this song loud enough. Attending class highly effects academic performance. Even if there is not a class attendance policy, GO TO CLASS! Extreme absenteeism will put you behind and will make you feel like a lost puppy. College professors notice the students who put in the time and attend class. I am always more willing to work with a student who puts in the time and effort to attend class.

2. Don’t be a back-pew church goer! Be the student that is not afraid to sit at the front of the class. Get to class early on the first day of class to claim your seat up front. Students who sit at the front of the class tend to be more engaged and do not miss out on the presented material.

3. Find your “person”. Make friends with the people that you sit next to in class. Have each other’s backs and work as a team to take notes and prepare for assignments and exams. If your class friend is absent or you are absent, share notes and announcements with one another.

4. Be actively engaged in class. Even if you are bored to tears, you can pretend to be interested. It is no secret that students who are actively engaged tend to truly learn the material and earn better grades. If you only get one thing out of this top 10 list, get this-DO NOT TAKE A NAP IN CLASS! Really, this happens all the time and I am tempted to whip out a sharpie and draw on the face of a class snoozer.

5. Word to the wise- be tech savvy and tech appropriate. Most college professors welcome the use of laptops in class. They are a wonderful tool to use to take notes and to follow along presentations. However, they can be a distraction as well. And-I know that this is a hard one-don’t cruise aroundon social media, shop, or chat via messenger during class. You will miss vital information and get lost at the same time. Also, keep those cellular devices on silent and in your backpack unless there is an emergency. I promise that if you are staring at your crotch that your professor knows that you are texting during class. If there is an emergency and you have to return a text or phone call during class, step out momentarily to do so.