Skip to main content
gaming in the classroom

Classes are right around the corner, and it’s never too early to start planning for a successful first year on Rocky Top.

We asked staff at the Student Success Center for advice for students on achieving success during their time in college.

Here are their top nine tips:

Go to class: This may seem obvious, but the perils of not attending class cannot be understated. Though it is tempting to get notes from a classmate, skipping class means missing the professor’s comments on test material or instructions for assignments. It could also negatively impact the professor’s perception of you. Set a goal to attend every class this semester.

Get to know your professor: Your professors are incredible resources. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to your professor and teaching assistants about your class. Stop by office hours or schedule an appointment if you have specific questions. If you are enjoying your class, be sure to let your professor know that too!

Get involved: A well-rounded education means spending time learning inside and outside of the classroom. Check out the Center for Student Engagement and the Jones Center for Leadership and Service for opportunities to get involved on campus.

Get help: Sometimes it takes a village, and that’s okay. UT has many academic and student support services and it’s every staff member’s goal is to help you. Check out the Student Success Center for information on a wide variety of support available to UT students. The Division of Student Life also offers many personal support resources for students.

Manage your time: College students struggle the most with time management skills. Start each semester off right by reading all your course syllabi and mapping out your busy weeks. Use calendars, planners, and task lists to stay on track. If you need help, contact a Student Success Center Academic Coach.

Make a study plan: Once you’ve taken a look at your semester as a whole, take some time to map out a weekly study plan. Make a commitment to study at a certain time, on a certain day, in a certain location, and reward yourself when you follow through on your plan!

Learn how you study best: Studying is a learned skill and everyone studies in a different way. Think about how, where, and when you study best. Do you need a quiet location? Do you study better with music? Be strategic about your studying to make the most out of your time. If you need help learning the material, look into tutoring and supplemental instruction.

Avoid distractions: We all know what distracts us most, so be proactive in dealing with these distractions. If roommates keep you from studying, go to the library. If social media keeps you from accomplishing your tasks, turn off your phone or log off Twitter and Instagram. Finally, make a plan for your free time and study time, and then stick to it.

Don’t wait until the last minute: Cramming is one of the least helpful methods of studying, so lay a strong foundation for your success by completing all your weekly readings and staying on top of your assignments.