It's your first week of real college classes, and as you step into your first 'real' big lecture (probably 30 minutes early), you're nervously scanning the room, trying to find a place to sit. Your first impulse is probably to hide - sit in the back, as far away from the action as possible, so your escape at the end will be easy, you can look at your phone when the professor inevitably starts droning on about the syllabus and homework points and most importantly, there's no risk of being called upon. But what if I told you that not only should you sit in the front but it's BEST for your academic success? I know, mind blowing. Here are some great reasons to sit up front in your big ol' Chem or Bio lectures.
1. You can actually hear what's going onGiphy
Not sure about y'all but I always feel like I can never hear anything. Maybe I'm listening to Luke Combs too loud on my headphones. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep. Whatever the case is, it always seems I can never hear what folks are saying, especially in a big lecture where the professor 'prefers' to not use a mic. Great! Sit up front. Not only will you be able to actually hear and comprehend what's going on but your notes will be better, you're more likely to get your questions answered, and the prof can hear you and you can hear them. It's magical. Try it.
2. You meet like-minded peopleGiphy
For me, studying is a huge first priority. Being pre-med at a school like UVA is tough so I'm always on the lookout for study opportunities, and one thing I found is making friends in your classes, especially tough classes in big lecture halls like Chemistry, can be really, really helpful. First and foremost, you're making friends, which is always a plus, and second, you're finding people who can act as resources in the future. I met some of my closest Chemistry study buddies in my first semester of my big Chem lecture hall, which carried over to this semester. I hope to carry them through Organic Chemistry too. I find it super helpful to study in groups and quiz each other for our chem tests, and I met them all in the front rows.
3. The seats are usually emptyGiphy
Like I said above, most people don't want to sit up front on the first few days. That means when you swoop in first day of class, you're likely to get first dibs on some awesome upfront seats. As the semester wears on, I find people to be creatures of habit who tend to sit in the exact same place they always sit - meaning you're *almost* always guaranteed a nice spot up front where you can hear everything AND hang out with your new front-row friends. Win, win.
4. Easier to seeGiphy
This one's kind of obvious but the point still stands. I find in classes like Biology where there are enormously complicated graphs and diagrams it really helps to be able to actually see. I was not blessed with good vision, needing to wear glasses, and sitting up front has always been my MO as a result. How will you get good notes that you need if you can't see what the heck you're writing? Also, iClicker questions can be a HUGE pain to see with the tiny letters and many choices if you're sitting farther back. Talking from experience here.
5. Nobody's judging, promise.Giphy
I feel like a lot of people are very self-conscious when they enter college. That's totally okay. We're being pulled out of what we're familiar with, our old friend groups, our old ways of thinking and doing and being forced to pick up the pace with a bunch of people we don't know. It's natural to feel like people are always judging and watching our every move, as we try to find our own way in a new place. If you haven't heard it already, you'll hear it from me. Nobody in college cares. I promise. Nobody is laughing at you for sitting up front, or for your kitten notebook, or for showing up to class in pajamas (though it can get really cold sometimes, would not recommend). It's college. People take naps everywhere, eat whatever they want, and often do whatever they please - and nobody minds. I promise, people are not judging you for sitting up front.
I hope I've convinced you at least a little to sit up front. If you're not sure, try it at least once. I promise, it will be a somewhat positive experience. And hey, if you never choose to sit up front again, at least those notes from that day will have been spectacularly heard and seen.
And yes, before you ask, I am a huge nerd.