College is an incredible time in a person’s life, but it’s no walk in the park and, at times, can be slightly overwhelming. It not only tests your learning capabilities, but also your stamina, time management abilities, discipline, and a whole lot more. If you set out on a path to achieve a college degree, what can be done to make sure you come out on top?

To help provide some guidance, let’s turn to professors. They see hundreds of students pass through their doors every year, so they know a thing or two about what it takes to successfully make it through these crucial years.

Whether you’re heading to college this fall, or already a seasoned sophomore, here are 4 pieces of practical advice professors wish students knew as they started to embark on their college journey:

Get to class. It can be tempting to hit the snooze button instead of attending your morning lectures, but skipping even one class can put you behind. Sure, you may find a way to keep up with assignments and get a passing grade, but you won’t learn as much from a course you don’t regularly attend.

Remember, asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. During college you’ll be surrounded by a community of people that want you to succeed. If you find yourself falling behind you should take advantage of professor office hours or other on-campus resources like tutors, writing counselors and career advisors.

Stay on top of your work. College is life’s ultimate time management test. You’ll be pulled in a multitude of directions, and every minute of the day will be allocated towards getting your assignments done on time, participating in extracurriculars or catching up on sleep. Find a method of organization that works for you, and use it religiously.

Enroll in a speed reading course. College students are essentially living, breathing sponges. The amount of information that needs to be digested is incredible, and even the smartest students can have trouble keeping up with all the required readings. By increasing your reading chops from 450 words per minutes (wpm) to 1,500 wpm or more, you can work way more efficiently and stay on track with assignments (refer back to the last point).

College is an exciting journey that will stretch you in ways that you didn’t know were possible. Take note of these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a successful college experience!

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