Sometimes I walk in class and just look around and instantly know who’s gonna pass and who’s gonna be struggling. You got people with their heads down, people on their phones sitting in the front of the class, people not even in class when, after 4 strikes, the prof drops a letter grade. I mean of course I don’t know everyone’s story, but the least I can do is help those who purport that they’re not being lazy. Let’s take down these 7 deadly sins, shall we?
1. Not taking notes in class
Why are you in class if you’re not taking notes? Just get out a pen and paper and do something. And yes, pen and paper, and not digital nonsense; you’ll remember things better if you physically write them down if you don’t already know. And are you too tired to take notes because your boring professor is sucking the life out of you? Simple fix: take notes. You’ll have something to do and that will help you stay more alert and not dead.
2. Taking notes: word for word
You think your teacher is impressed with your note taking? Well, sometimes teachers are weird. I once had a teacher that kicked a student out because he didn’t take notes…even though he had the highest grade in the class.
When you take notes, you need to make them for you. Rewriting what the teacher said won’t help you if your teacher talks like he’s a character from a Shakespeare play. The first clue is when he/she writes on the board, you write on the paper, but wait just a minute. Make sure you understand what is written, and if you don’t, wait and ask your teacher to paraphrase, and then write that down. Often times, the professor will go on about what s/he wrote on the board, so don’t think just because Prof stopped writing means you should too! Your professor may bring up examples, synonyms, and even ways to remember a word all in the explanation, so pay attention.
3. Not participating
Participation is literally getting a good grade for speaking. Literally.
We speak all the time! Why is it that there were so many baboons in my literature class that failed to speak when asked for their input? I guess not everyone wants an A after all.
If you have a class that’s heavy on participation, participate or fail. Even if you’re afraid of sounding stupid! Trust me, the only thing stupid is not taking advantage of that opportunity. It’s like being paid $50 bucks to wear a hat but not wanting to wear it because it makes your head look big. Practically free money being thrown down the drain.
Swallow your pride. Spit out some words!
4. Sitting in the back
If you know your lowest grade has always been in a math class, why would you start the semester off sitting in the back of yet another one of these classes? Sitting up front guarantees that you won’t be lollygagging on your phone or falling asleep much (because if your teacher is
cruel hip, they will take a picture of you in your drool: true story). Besides, the smart people who actually want to learn most often sit in the front (which is why you are there!) so you can always ask them for help or even participate in small group discussions with them. Make friends with people who know what they’re doing in life.
Speaking of which,
5. Not making any friends
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? But what dream is there to accomplish if you have no friends? Now, I use the word “friends” loosely because let’s be honest, you probably won’t even talk to them after that class ends. However, they’re still important! The first couple of days in a new class may be awkward (it definitely was for me because people aren’t social with people anymore) but you’re going to have to step out of that comfort zone every now and then. Not saying you should bake cookies for your neighbors but you shouldn’t lock yourself up behind that desk and think you don’t have permission to speak to others. Besides, teachers love group projects, so if you don’t have friends before a project is assigned, you’re gonna be stuck with the scraps: the bottom-of-the-barrel students who probably still eat glue and pick their noses (in public).
6. Stuffing papers into a bag
This makes you look both unorganized and downright disrespectful. You know how much work your teacher puts into finding paper and wasting ink and printing it out for you and you return the favor by letting it get swallowed into the depths of no return? And while you’re wasting time fishing it out and organizing your notes and such, your organized-and-respectful rival is already completing the handout and reviewing what was discussed in class. I guess the real loser in the end is you.
Showing Emotion to a Jerk-ish Teacher
You know what I’m talking about. That annoying, bigoted, egotistical teacher with a sharp tongue and a sharp brain to match. Brains are normally squishy so that’s saying a lot. Professors like these just want to push your buttons and make you look stupid. Fight the urge to flip the tables because seriously it’s not worth the constant bickering. Just listen, take notes, and leave.
You’re not being paid to try and wrong your teacher. Heck, Prof is the one getting paid to make your life a hell if Prof wants to! Prof is eating the cake and having it too.
School can be a battlefield sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you should cross the field without any armor (if you can’t tell already, I’m sick and corny). Even if school isn’t your thing, hang in there until you finally have the (financial) freedom and the willpower to study/do what you actually want. Whether you want to be a brain surgeon or a rapper, remember where you are, picture your future, and plan how to get there. By reading these tips, you are already one step further.
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Any other tips you have to share? What have you witnessed in your classes that needs to be quashed from existence!?