Five Reasons Why You Should Sit In Front of Lecture

5 Reasons To Sit In The Front Row Of Any Big College Lecture

Yes, big lectures suck - but don't hide in the back. Even though it might be embarrassing, always sit in the front row. I promise, it's amazing.

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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 on

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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 people

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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 empty

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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 see

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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.

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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.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.

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It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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