I won't preach that college is easier than high school. But after some adjustment during my first year at college, this statement pushed me to do better and be better.

Throughout high school, I was a B+ student always trying for the A but most of the time I fell short. Granted, I was playing two sports between the fall and the spring while also holding a part-time job. Altogether holding that B+ sounded like a good plan. As I transitioned into a college student I knew that I had to work harder to be a top student.

One thing you can do that will help get you ahead of your classmates is easy — all you have to do is go to every class. By attending every class you can absorb the information while taking notes. I remember in my animal science class that one out of the few times I had skipped the class he had given extra credit to the students who came that day. I had no right to be mad because it was my own fault for not going. Go to every class not for the credit but for the information, because studies show that students who go to class regularly do better than students who don't.

Going to class is what you are supposed to do when you or your parents are paying for your education. My professor taught me about the opportunity cost of missing class and it is something everyone should hear. The amount of money you are paying for college, which for me is a lot, is wasted when you don't attend your class. With the math, I divided my full tuition by the number of weeks I have of school. Then divide that number by the number of classes I have in one week and it came out to $112.50 per class. That's how much money I lose when I skip a class. You are missing the opportunity to utilize all of the money you are paying to go to the school in the first place. Do the math and see for yourself.

If you need help from your professor, they want you to ask for it so that you can succeed and do well. During my first year of college, my professors were more than willing to help me as long as I went out of my way to seek it. This means going to TA extra help, TA-led extra lectures, and going to professor office hours. Don't be confused though — If you don't ask and work with them they will not help you.

This story reminds me of my first business math class and boy did I struggle through it. As someone who only took pre-calculus in high school, I tested up to taking a calculus class in college. It's hard to admit it but without my friends who helped me by correcting my mistakes and teaching me or going to my professor's office hours, I don't think I would have done well. I practiced before every test and did everything to get my homework right because it was graded. Another determining factor that helped me get a B was my attendance. Since I attended every class it helped boost my grade.

I remember attending my teacher's office hours many times, and when I asked him to calculate my grade to see how I was doing, he was surprised I had attended every class. Later that year during our last class, he was telling the select few who opted out of the final and who didn't. The people who didn't need to take the final were sitting in the first two rows and maybe two in the third row. This goes to show that sitting in the front can also benefit yourself and grade.

Tip: If homework is graded do anything in your power to get 100s because this could be the determining factor between getting a B or a C in the class.

All in all my advice to everyone is to be an advocate for yourself. No one will care more than you do. If I want to do well I have everything in my power to do so. My words to live by are "always work harder than the person next to you."