Are you one of hundreds of students in a large college class? Do you want to make an impression on your professor despite this? Check out this blog post for tips on how to succeed.
Making an Impression
If you want to excel in college, it's probably important to you that your professors at least know who you are, or even get to know you as an individual. This can be a difficult endeavor in a large university where you might take classes in massive lecture halls filled with hundreds of other students. Here are our suggestions for how to be more than just a face in a large crowd.
Pick a Seat - And Keep It
One thing you have to think about in a large college course that isn't a consideration in smaller classes is that your face will literally be lost in a giant crowd. Even if your professors want to remember you, the excess of visual information they'll be faced with every time they look out at the class will make it hard for them to do so. To make it easier for your teachers to remember you, try sitting in the same seat every class session, ideally one near the front and in the middle of the lecture hall. That way, as your teachers get to know you, they'll know where to look for you, and your consistent presence will make you more memorable with each passing class.
Answer Questions Smartly
You know that moment when the professor asks the class a question and the students squirm awkwardly in silence and discomfort? Here's a secret: those moments are just as torturous for the professors. Just like your fellow students, your professors are silently hoping that somebody will save them by ending the awkward silence and answering the question.
To make yourself stand out, be that savior. Answer your professors' questions or ask questions when they call for them. Pro tip: the more prepared you are for class, having attended previous lectures and having made sure that you're all caught up with homework and reading assignments, the easier it will be for you to stand out.
Ask Smart Questions
Speaking of asking questions - that's another effective method for standing out in large classes. The ability to ask good questions is almost more impressive than always having the right answers. But how do you get to a place where you can successfully ask smart questions? The answer: be prepared for class, participate in class, and really engage with the material.
Also, listen to your professors' lectures closely. If you don't understand the material, don't hesitate to ask for clarification. And don't be afraid to challenge your professors. If they say something that doesn't make sense, or that you disagree with, be proactive and bring it up (politely, of course). This is a sure way to make yourself stand out - as long as you do it out of sincerity. Avoid being argumentative just to be memorable.
Finally, a very worthwhile approach is to form personal relationships with your professors. Avoid being another face in a sea of people who come to office hours. Instead, stay in fairly frequent contact with your professors, whether that involves sending emails or just thanking them after class for their lecture.
For example, talk to them about any books or articles that they've written and you've read. Ask them to coffee to talk in more depth about a subject of mutual interest. Keep it professional, of course. Your professor is not someone to gossip with or complain to, but one with whom you can form a real, sincere bond, the most surefire way to stand out amongst your large college class. Good luck!
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