Background: Undergraduate majoring in physics to work in research, hopefully in astrophysics or cosmology. 1.5-2 years behind where I should be academically and (if all goes well) about to start courses relevant to major. My questions are these: 1) How should I study basic mathematics? (Calculus, etc.) I have the interest and the aptitude, but I am under-performing and would like to change. Something that happens frequently is that I find the material trivial and studying consequently boring, and then forget crucial parts of what I studied on exams. What are some successful techniques you learned / wish you had known during undergrad? 2) How should I approach my instructors with questions? I've never attended office hours out of paranoia that the instructor will find my questions revealing of bad work ethic/ poor comprehension, and judge my work in that light. Do instructors do this and if so how can I avoid it? 3) How to get more involved in my program? Most general of all of my questions, what can I do, once I'm 300 and 400 level courses, to position myself for opportunities within the department? I have befriended others in it met through STEM clubs, attended talks given by faculty, etc. but I would like to know if there's any critical advice I can make use of. Thanks so much!