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Advising Center - Transitioning to College

This guide provides information about making the transition to college for freshmen and transfer students.


In college, homework assignments (type, difficulty, frequency) will vary by course, but you are certain to have homework in all of your college courses.  In some courses, homework will be a separate grade in the course or part of an attendance and/or participation grade.  In other courses, faculty members will expect you to complete the task without collecting it for a grade.  No matter your situation, it’s important that you complete these assignments. 


Professors assign homework for many reasons, including:


Providing additional opportunities for study and practice. Reinforcing concepts, theories, and topics covered in class. Offering alternative perspectives than those covered in class. Providing additional information on difficult concepts.



In order to help you complete homework assignments, follow these Keys to Success:


Plan ahead.  At the beginning of the term, review the course syllabus to get a sense of the homework assignments and use the syllabus to create a schedule.  Throughout the term, review the instructions on the assignments carefully and familiarize yourself with requirements.  During class, ask questions about the assignments, so you’re ready to complete them before the due date.  


Get comfortable!  It’s hard to complete a task that you already don’t want to do if you’re uncomfortable.  Instead, find a quiet place to work, use ambient music to help you relax, and find a place where you can relax.  Stay away from working in bed or you may be tempted to take a nap rather than complete your homework. 


Get organized.  Identify one space (a planner, notebook, app) where you can record all of your homework assignments.  Set due date reminders a day or two before its actual deadline, so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to complete it.  Keep all of your materials together (box, drawer, shelf, folder) with everything you might need to complete any given homework assignment, so you don’t spend precious time searching for them.


Have an 'every day' approach. Get in the habit of saying to yourself that you have homework in each class every day. If you do not have an assignment, your homework should be reviewing notes, presentations, and materials.  Review the summary at the end of a chapter in your textbook or read some additional sources on the topic.


Adopt a “no zeros” philosophy.  If your professor is using homework as part of their grade considerations, it’s important that you don’t “give away” these points by not completing it.  Adopt a “no zeroes” philosophy when it comes to homework. Decide that you are not going to miss out on these points by turning in homework assignments when they’re due—even if they are not completed. 


Don't forget to download our Keys to Success in the Quick Access Printables box on this page.