The huge lecture halls at many colleges and universities can leave many students overwhelmed. Standing out in your college lecture can help you get better grades and get better value out of your college experience. So, how can you separate yourself from other peers? Here are 8 proven ways you can stand out in your college lecture.
Prepare to get the greatest value out of each lecture
Even though a lot of students know how important it is to read class material regular, many don’t do it. So by simply reading the material before class you can show your professor that you have knowledge of the topic being discussed. By doing this, you can differentiate yourself from the rest.
It’s important to stand out in your college lecture because you can build strong relationships with your peers and professors. Professors can give you letters of recommendations and/or internships which are essential for your resume. Having a relationship with your professors or TA’s can also be helpful if you need to have their support in case special circumstances arise and you need a little leeway to get coursework done.
Sit in the front of the room (even if you’re shy)
In a lecture hall with more than 80+ students, professors tend to not remember everyone’s name or face. By sitting in the front of the room, your professors will remember your face and know that you’re paying attention in class. Also by sitting in front of the room you will be less prone to distractions. Some students who are shy to be front and center can sit off to the side to still enjoy the benefit of less distractions without feeling looked at.
Greeting your professors and TA’s
Saying “Hi” and/or “Goodbye” to your professors, especially in smaller classes, can help you stand out. Just the simple act of greeting your professors can help you establish a relationship with them and even start a dialogue.
Not making it to classes costs you more than you think, so make it a goal to go to every lecture
It is not unusual for students choose to only show up to class to take exams. In addition to available research showing that you will learn more if you attend, you’re paying alot for college and tuition is a big part of that cost, so why not get as much value as you can for your your dollars? Some colleges and professors also take attendance into account as a matter of grading policy – just showing up can boost your grade.
You may be a morning person, or a night owl, or you may also have a job while in school, but be realistic about your circumstances and only register for classes that align well with your with you day-to-day schedule and your daily rhythm.
Don’t be afraid to raise your hand (even in giant classes)
Though your class may be a huge area of faces don’t let that stop you from raising your hand if you have a question or a comment. Professors like to see students engage in the class discussions and this shows that you’re paying attention in class.
Stay a little after class, every once in a while
Especially for student that are in large classes, it is hard if not impossible to ask questions to help you follow the material during class. Also, with the way material tends to build in college, it’s easy to fall behind. Staying after class is a great way to get one-on-one time with professors and TA’s to get the answers you need to tackle assignments and study for quizzes. Also, this time is a great opportunity to get to know TA’s who in some cases are the ones grading your assignments.
Stay engaged during class by limiting distractions (it’s harder than you think!)
It is easy to drift off into a text conversation or check social media during class, either on your phone or laptop, but this can prevent you from getting full value from the lecture, especially in higher level classes. In many cases, it is almost irresistible to not check your notifications, so the easiest way to limit distractions is to turn off your phone and messaging services during class – you during midterms and finals will thank you in the present!
Connect and contribute outside of class
Office hours are a secret sauce for many students that seem to pick up on concepts really fast
If you are confused or need to speak in private with your professor, feel free to visit their office hours. In fact, a lot of professors appreciate when students visit them, because it shows them that those students care about their academics. During office hours, the professor can go over any topics that you may have a problem understanding.
Also, for students that are seeking more active mentorship, especially at some state schools where class sizes tend to be really large, office hours are a great way to get the one-on-one attention regarding your areas of interest to help you grow and develop academically and even get valuable learnings about your professional direction.
Complete the extra credit assignments (every little bit helps!)
Many professors give extra credits assignments at the end of each semester to give students the chance to improve their grades. Some students choose to not do the extra credits assignments if they already have a B+ or an A, but you never know when finals are gonna throw you a curveball, so take every freebie the professor gives!