Don’t Just Show Up to Class, Get Involved


When students enter college, there are many apparent differences from high school. The size of the school is generally larger, which means more students causing the size of each class to grow. Some classes in college can reach up to 150 students. These classes are usually called lectures.

Lectures can be pretty intimidating due to the fact that there are so many kids you have never even seen before. For some, this makes getting involved in class, actively talking, and answering questions difficult. Which is understandable because, really, who wants to give the wrong answer to a question in front of 150 people?

Well I am here to tell you to disregard the nervous anticipation that might occur when you want to get involved. Chances are good that most of the students are not really paying attention to your question or answer, and if they are then you are not only benefiting yourself but them as well. If you ask a question and get it wrong, you are more likely to remember the correct answer and so will the others in the class. If you ask questions during lectures, you can take note of them and be more prepared for the test, leading to better scores.

Involvement in class also shows the professor that you take the course seriously and that your grade is important to you. Having the professor conscious of this is extremely important because there is going to be times where you’ll need their help or miss an exam because you are ill. In most cases the professor will be more understanding to your situation if they know you put in effort to stay involved.

If you look at the big picture and recognize all the benefits that come from actively participating in class then the fear should subside. Imagine yourself talking only to the professor and forget about all the other students in the class.

Involvement can be compared to a cycle:

  • If you get involved in class→
  • You are paying attention and asking questions →
  • By answering questions you will retain the information better→
  • Your involvement in the class shows the professor your dedication→
  • The knowledge you retained helps you get better grades on exams→
  • High grades lead to a higher GPA→
  • Which finally leads to student success and the confidence to start even stronger at the beginning of the cycle next time!

So in your next lecture, jump in and actively involve yourself in the class. Remember, it is no one else’s college education but your own. Who cares if you don’t answer everything correctly? At the end of the day you will be the one benefiting!

Tara K.