Reaching for the Stars College Life

Hello everyone:

Sometimes folks think that a college education is like reaching for the stars: a wonderful idea but not achievable. Folks, let me tell you right now- you can do it!

If you are a first generation college student, then you may find it more challenging, but take some tips from me (even if you aren’t a first generation college student!):

Take things seriously from the very first day.

Check your class’ web page as soon as you have access. Most colleges offer you a one-week lead on this, while others offer a one month lead-in before the class begins. Who is your teacher? What is his or her background? What is he or she asking you to do for the first day of class? I always ask my students to print off the syllabus that is in the course page and bring it to class. Less than one-half of my students do this. Congrats, folks, you are already behind. I ask students to read the first chapter before they come to class. Some students haven’t even bought or rented the book yet.

Review the book before the class begins. As soon as you get the textbook, look at the chapters and their in-depth listing of what you will cover. This is your preview of what to expect.

Some colleges, like mine, require the instructors to lecture on the first day. Don’t skip class the first day or the first week. If you do, you’re already behind. Bring paper and pen to class to take notes.

You are not allowed to use your laptop in my class because studies have shown that you will make better grades if you hand-write notes. My personal experience has shown that students with laptops check their email, look at Facebook or Instagram, or whatever. Then they get mad at me when they fail the exam because they weren’t paying attention. No, I won’t send you my Power Point slides because then we can guarantee that you won’t pay attention.

Look over your notes that evening and fix or fill in anything you missed. You can fill in missing information by looking at your textbook. No, you can’t make it through the class without a book.

Yes, you really can do this! Reach for the stars because they can be grasped, just like the concepts you learn about in college.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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