Bad habits to avoid in class
August 1, 2017
Going into this year as a junior, I have learned a lot from trial and error about how to behave during class. A lot of these things I did personally as a freshman, but started to change as I transitioned to better habits in my sophomore year.
As I started to make small changes, I noticed that I did better on tests and had to study less outside of class to do so. If you are curious about how to act in a college classroom, take a look at what you should try to avoid doing in your classes, especially large lectures.
Sit in the back
If you can, try to sit in the front of the class. This can make a huge difference. In the front, you will be making eye contact with the professor or instructor so that they recognize your face. This will make it easier to ask your professor questions after class or during office hours. It will also keep you from dozing off or doodling in your notebook. Being closer to the professor will force you to act more respectful and conduct yourself as best as you can in class.
Always aim to get to a class early so that you have enough time to find a seat and get set up. Don’t be that person that wanders into lecture late and has to move into the middle of the row because all of the aisle seats are taken. Just from being five minutes late, you could miss iClicker questions, which earn you participation points in large lectures. If you are going to go to class, you want to get as much credit as you can for doing so.
Go on social media
This is perhaps the most tempting one I faced freshman year but also one that impacted my grade the most. Getting distracted by your phone or your laptop takes away from what you’re supposed to be doing in class: learning the material.
If you find that you are struggling with taking notes on your laptop without checking something online, try turning off your Wi-Fi for the duration of the class. The same goes for if you can’t seem to get off your phone. Another trick I use is to try writing down everything that the professor talks about, especially examples for key terms so that I will understand the concepts later.
Chat with your friends
This is not only being detrimental to you and your friend but also those around you. While you are talking to your friend, you are not paying attention to the professor at all. It also distracts those that are sitting around you, which isn’t really fair to them. If you have something that you want to tell your friend, try to save it for after class.
Take a nap
This should be an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often this happens during a large lecture at 8 a.m. If you find yourself feeling super tired during this class and like you might fall asleep, then try to make a cup a of coffee before heading to class.
If you’re feeling particularly tired from staying up late one night, then it might be best to skip and get the notes from someone else. There’s no use in traveling all the way to your lecture just to continue sleeping. However, don’t make skipping class a habit. To learn the information best, you need to be present during class.
Brooke is a junior in Media.