Skip to Main Content

How to College Companion Guide: How to College: Discussions

This guide is made to accompany first year seminar students reading How to College by Andrea Brenner & Lara Schwartz

About this Page

Here are some great questions for you to consider related to the How to College text.

Discussion Questions

PART I: The New College You 

Do you feel like college will change you as a person? 

In what ways would you like to take advantage of this chance to reinvent yourself?  

What advantages are there to getting to know your peers? 

PART II: College Is School 

What do you think “professionalism” should look like in college? For students? For Instructors/Staff? 

Why do you think students are so reluctant to have seek out assistance with writing – or tutoring in any subject for that matter.  

What’s your favorite study or note-taking strategy for success? Share some tips or tricks that work for various courses and situations like online, group projects, math, memorization, research… 

In what ways do you think your habits and strategies from high school will change in college? 

PART III: Take Care of You 

In what areas of your personal care and wellness do you need pay more attention?  How will this contribute to your overall success? Short-term? Long-term? 

What health and wellness resources at Polk seem most valuable to you? What resources or services would you like to see added?  

In what ways can the college help make students feel safe on campus, online, in the classroom, in general?  

PART IV: The Resident Experts 

Think of some of the staff, faculty, and administrators you have seen or met. What education level, degrees, and experience do you think are required for these various jobs? 

If you felt like you received a grade that was wrong, would you contact your professor? If you felt you were treated unfairly, what would you do? Who would you reach out to?  

How many different types (or names if you like) of Polk staff can you list that you could ask for assistance or just talk to in general? Who would be best for what purpose? 

PART V: Money Talk 

If the college were to add a financial literacy course, what should it include? 

How confident are you that you will complete your college journey with a manageable amount of debt? Is this a big concern for you?  

What do you think is the hardest thing for students to do when it comes to managing money? 

PART VI: Life Beyond the Classroom 

Even if you are an online student only, you can still participate in activities at Polk State. Take a look at the SALO website page. What activities or clubs do you think would be the most appealing to you? 

If you could add an activity, club, organization, or service to the college, what would it be?  

When do you think is the best time to look into internships, job shadowing, or experiential learning?  


PART VII: Your To-Do List 

Everyone is on their phone all the time! What are you doing to make your smartphone work smarter for you? 

How often do you check your college email? Canvas messages? Do you have alerts set to automatically?  

What Polk sites do you have bookmarked, what Polk numbers do you have saved, what or who are your “go to’s” at Polk State? 

Polk State College is committed to equal access/equal opportunity in its programs, activities, and employment. For additional information, visit