Take it from a college professor, students come to school ill-prepared. Young people are coming home from their first semester of college with straight Cs - or worse. Here are a few little tips that could help them and help you not stress out so much about them. Pass on these tidbits to your college student:

1. Get the Textbooks

Buy and read the books assigned in a timely manner. Students often buy books a month after school has started. Most college professors have books for classes held in the library on reserve as well. Students have a bad habit of not reading because they are taking a class with essay tests and not multiple guess. Guess what; the reading was assigned for a reason! Your college student won't grasp the concepts by osmosis. They'll need the critical thinking that comes with actually reading in order to write those essays effectively.

2. Don't Forget Time Management Skills

For every hour they are in a class they need at least three hours a night outside of that class time to digest the material, study for exams, write the papers, etc. Suggest that your college student not take more classes than they can handle during one semester. For example, she might not want to take three classes at the same time that are literature/essay intensive. Balance with some math and other subjects so that you aren't bogging down in one testing style/learning style.

3. Use Etiquette

Instructors remember the rude kid. Do not be the one whose cell phone goes off in class. Don't sit in the front row and text your buddies. Don't wear head phones to class. They may have gotten away with this in high school but if any of their teachers graded on participation last semester these bad behaviors certainly came in as a factor of whether or not they were attentive, alert, and engaged in class.

4. Keep the Entitlement to a Minimum

Along with tech etiquette breaches, students with entitlement issues are universally frowned upon. The professors don't give grades, students earn them. You get out of it what you put into it, right? Professors want students to learn, and may instructors expect participation. Professors don't care who your family is, what your dad does, or what you think your future profession might be — they are, however, concerned that you learn and understand the material in the class you are taking. Get on the professor's good side and don't whine about grades.

5. Know Your Resources

If your student didn't discover the student center, writing center, academic services, tutoring, etc. in the first semester, make sure that before things get too busy, he or she buckles down and finds campus resources. It can only help!

Oh, and parents: keep the lines of communication open. Don't overload the student with expectations or your own dreams of what they should be achieving. Leave the door open to talk to you when they are feeling overwhelmed or guilty about not giving it their all. This is there first year away from home; they are going to make mistakes, but they've seen their fall semester grades and might be a little more open to your nagging than you think.