Congratulations! The University of Minnesota Twin Cities (U of M) courses you are taking now through College in the Schools (CIS), will help you succeed in the future, whether you continue at the U of M or attend another college or university. As you launch your college journey, I hope these tips will help you get the semester off to a great start!

  1. Follow your instructor’s registration instructions if you want to receive U of M credit. The process isn’t automatic—you can’t earn credit if you don’t register.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the class syllabus. The syllabus is a guideline for the class and contains helpful information. This typically includes your instructor’s office hours and contact information, assigned classrooms, as well as U of M policies. The syllabus may also include a calendar of important dates, which can help you understand how much reading and homework you should plan for from week to week. The calendar might also list the approximate dates you can expect to be tested on the material.
  3. Get to know your instructor and be an advocate for yourself. If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to the instructor. Ask them questions if you don’t understand something or need additional help to clarify a concept. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class; there is probably someone else who has a similar question. The only bad question is the one that doesn’t get asked.
  4. Are you new to writing papers or have you struggled with papers in the past? The U of M has a tool for that! The assignment calculator helps by breaking down your paper into bite-sized pieces. In addition, the Center for Writing has numerous resources, so check out their website for more details. These tools can be useful whether you are writing a speech, creating a lab report, or tackling your first research paper. Speaking of research, did you know that you can chat with a librarian 24/7 through the U of M Libraries if you get stuck or need assistance?
  5.  Struggling with a class? It’s OK to feel uncomfortable while learning something new. That is how you grow as a learner (and as a person). It’s important to acknowledge your weaknesses so you can turn them into strengths. You might consider talking with a classmate who has a better understanding of the lessons. Creating connections and networking is an important skill, and you will be networking more than you know in college, so why not adopt the process now?
  6. Talk with your high school counselor. If you’ve followed these tips and are still having difficulty, I encourage you to talk with your high school counselor. They can help to troubleshoot and share options if you are feeling overwhelmed.