Universities and colleges are poised to get back into the swing of the fall semester. As you prepare to head back to your course load, consider the wisdom of your college professor. They have been in your shoes once. They teach because they want to change lives (your life!). And a professor cares that her students pass her class.

As your professors stand before you on your first day of class, learn what they are really wanting to tell you.

1. Don’t go to college if all you want to do is skip your classes. Annual university tuition ranges from several thousand to $30,000. That doesn’t include anything but your classes. You are throwing your money away when you skip class.

2. Don’t post status updates contradicting your excuse for missing class. Sure, it is miserable to come to class when you have a hangover or you stayed up to late finishing a paper for another class. It doesn’t make you look good in my eyes. And you will need me someday.

3. Don’t suck up to me. Come to class, pay attention, and put forth your best effort. That will impress me. I can tell the difference.

4. You’ll need me beyond your one semester course. Networking and recommendation letters are essential as you search for internships, grad schools, and jobs. Don’t be another nameless face. Make an effort in class. And stop by during my office hours.

5. Are you out of your depth in my class and don’t know what to do? You need to make an effort and come to me during office hours early on and not at the end of the course. I want you to succeed and learn too. If you come to me early, we can work together. Let me help.

6. Read the syllabus. I can’t emphasize this enough. Don’t look like you don’t know what you are talking about when you should have read the syllabus. Put all assignments and due dates on your calendar system. Don’t miss 70% of your classes and come crying to me when you fail your class because 30% of your grade was about showing up. It is clearly written in the syllabus. In fact, don’t just read it one time. Review it a few times, highlight the important things.

7. Write down what I write down. 99% of what I write on the board really, really matters. As in exam time matters!

8.Listen to your advisor. Don’t blow them off because you think you know better than them. They’ve been around awhile and want to help you achieve your dreams.

You are not a lone ship on the university seas. See your professor as the advocate they are.

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