When I first attended college some (many) years ago, straight out of high school, the difference made my head spin. In high school my parents made sure I got to school. School officials, truancy laws, and strict teachers all made sure I stayed in line, went to class, and did my homework.
In college – well, to put it bluntly – no one cared. My parents were far away and building a new business. My professors barely knew my name, and vice-versa. My friends were mainly concerned with getting themselves through the week and to the weekend. For the first time in my life I was only accountable to myself.
When you’re used to being pushed and pushing back, college can be a big change. You’re a grown-up now. It’s your life, and it’s important that you show up for it. Some professors will drop a grade after too many missed classes (be sure to read the syllabus) but even if they don’t, your grades will slip regardless. Professors lecture over important material, go over what’s expected on tests, give out assignments and sometimes pop quizzes. Sometimes missing a day can’t be helped but don’t let it become a habit, and reach out to your instructor to make up what you missed.
You have a great opportunity, be sure not to waste it! Vol State is a doorway to a better future. Show up to learn and you could be surprised at the opportunities that will open for you.
Gaynell Buffinet Payne is a writer, single mother, and student at Volunteer State Community College. She also blogs for Vol State's Returning Adult Learners.