If you’ve decided that college is worth it, the New York Times has a series of short op-ed pieces with advice for incoming students. Some highlights:

Stanley Fish:

First, find out who the good teachers are. Ask your adviser; poll older students; search the Internet; and consult the teacher-evaluation guides available at most colleges.

Gerarld Graff:

Pay close attention to what others are saying and writing and then summarize their arguments and assumptions in a recognizable way. Work especially on summarizing the views that go most against your own.

Carol Berkin:

Do ask questions if you don’t understand the professor’s point. Do not, however, ask any of the following: “Will this be on the test?” “Does grammar count?” “Do we have to read the whole chapter?” “Can I turn in my paper late?”

I would add:

  • Each semester, pick one class you worry might be too hard for you, and one that’s easy but engaging.

  • Never choose a class just because your friend(s) will be taking it. Each course is a chance to expand your social circle.

  • Schedule yourself a block of library time for reading/studying, just like it’s a class.

  • If you can’t find courses that interest you, take a semester off and re-evaluate.

  • Alternate with water.

What would your college advice be?