College is very different from high school. You are the only one who keeps track of your grades. Your professor will not seek you out to tell you that you need help. You may not even have coursework and exams will be your only measure of progress. This can be very challenging for students who were used to involved parents and teachers. When you are on your own, you will need discipline to stay on track for all of your courses.
Read The Text
Your professor will give you a syllabus with assigned reading. They will not check up on you to make sure you are doing the assigned reading. You should read the assigned materials to prepare for class. Then you can actively engage in any discussion, apply it to the lecture, and have several opportunities to be exposed to the material. Doing the reading before class will prevent you from falling behind. Even getting a few days behind on reading can make it impossibly difficult to catch up.
Review Your Notes
The lecture style courses that are most often offered in college, especially for freshman intro courses, demand that you take notes. To make sure your notes are in good shape and to reinforce lecture material in your mind, you should review them a few hours after the lecture. Then, if there is anything that doesn’t make sense or they need to be organized, you can fill in the holes and make changes while the material is still fresh in your mind. Reviewing notes daily will give you nice, organized notes when it is time to study for the final.
Use Office Hours
Most professors and teaching assistants (TA’s) have office hours where students can drop by and ask for help. Professors love it when students use these because it shows initiative. If you are struggling with a particular topic, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Drop in to office hours and ask for help. Do this before the exams so that you are prepared and ready. Don’t wait until after you perform poorly on an exam to take advantage of this time with the professor.
College demands that you stay proactive if you can do that, you will be able to study and perform well in your classes. Don’t fall behind, and if you do, stop in to see a professor. Some colleges even have departments that can offer help with study strategies and time management. Colleges have many resources but, you have to take initiative to use them. When you take advantage of these resources, you will be less likely to struggle in your coursework.