How To: Get the Most Out Of Your Classes

Sure, the “College Years” are an important time to make friends and to be social, but at the root of it all, college is really a place to get an education. Getting the most out of your classes is a whole lot easier once you understand how to use all of the resources your college provides for you, namely your professors! Below is a list of tips and tricks to help you really get the most out of your educational experience:

  1. Go to class – Though this concept sounds really obvious, the truth is a lot students don’t actually attend class. Every once in a while you might have a legitimate reason to skip but, for the most part, do your best to show up to every class session. You’ll feel better knowing you didn’t miss any scheduling changes or other minor details!
  2. Make friends in your classes – Class is much more bearable when you have someone to share the experience with. In addition, making friends gives you someone to study with, to clarify material, and maybe even hang out with outside of class.
  3. Participate –Participation helps clarify things you might be unsure of and shows professors that you take their material seriously. Because you are not zoning out or watching the clock, it also helps class fly by much more quickly!
  4. Attend office hours when you can –By the time exams roll around, you will be steps ahead of your classmates because you will already have asked the questions they’ll  be saving up all semester. Most professors are eager to help and are one of the most valuable resources you can find.
  5. Be polite – Think manners are unrelated to succeeding in school? Think again. I once had a fellow student talk during an entire 45-minute presentation of mine. When he finally stopped talking, he started texting. Appalled, it took all of my remaining energy to not publicly call him out for being so rude. The experience, however, got me thinking: this must be exactly how professors feel when students talk and text during class! Whether or not you believe it, professors notice…and appreciate…good classroom manners. How can you expect them to take you seriously when you don’t afford them the same courtesy? Think about it next time you start playing Words with Friends during a lecture.

~ Guest Blogger, Sandra Webb, The College of New Jersey, ’11

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