What can you do to set yourself apart and take charge of your classes? The same things people tell you to do all the time — but with a twist.
1. Go to office hours
At the beginning of the semester it is crucial, before you have a million hours of homework, to swing by and introduce yourself to your professors. All of my classes have about 30 people, so they'll know me individually by the end of the semester, but going to talk to them first shows you're motivated and interested in their class.
2. Take notes before lecture
Everyone hates that kid who's writing down every slide as fast as possible because they didn't prepare for class. Read the chapter, take your own notes and then write down things the professor says that stick out or questions that you have. It'll make class way easier, and easier on your hand, too!
3. Ask questions
If you have a question, odds are someone else in the class does as well. You're paying to be in the class, so why not take full advantage of the professor's knowledge? Asking questions only helps you do better, so why not ask?
4. Write down all important dates and deadlines ahead of time
Get out your planner or write it in Google Calendar or whatever system you use, but trust me, write down all your exams ahead of time. This way, if there are any conflicts, you can straighten them out before it's crunch time, which will relieve your anxiety as well as keep you organized.
5. Participate in class
This seems easy enough, but there's nothing worse than when the professor asks a question and the room is dead silent for a minute or longer while everyone itches their head and tries not to make eye contact with their prof. Even if you don't know the answer, throw something out there so class can continue and everyone can stop acting like they don't exist.
6. Show up early
Professors notice who shows up early and who straggles in with 30 seconds to spare. That five minutes of your time doesn't mean much, but to a professor, it means you respect them and are willing to make the effort to get to their class early.
7. Get a seat in the front
Not only will this force you to pay attention, but the professor will recognize your face, and you'll be able to ask questions and engage with the material more than you would sitting in the back row. Even if you're like me and you don't want to put an answer out there, sitting in the front will show you're attentive and ready to absorb the material.
8. Put your cell phone away!
I guarantee you this is the biggest mistake people make. Even if your class is three hours long, only use your phone on breaks and before/after class. This is huge in learning new material, and your phone will only be a distraction. You can go without texting in your 50 group chats for an hour, I promise!
9. If you're struggling in class, ask a professor sooner rather than later.
Oftentimes, just talking to a professor about your grade will give you valuable information on what to study and when, seeing as though they're the ones who make the exams.
How do you make yourself stand out in class? Comment below!