How to Find Enthusiasm for your University course

Long before you first enter a college class, you should be fully aware that many courses will be a struggle. I don’t mean “struggle” in a challenging sense, but in a sense that you have to stifle a yawn or two whenever the course material is brought up. Being bored by a class doesn’t mean you’re going to fail it, but chances are you won’t excel in it, either. In order to find success in classes such as these, you need to devise a plan to find enthusiasm for what you are doing.

Before the semester begins, look at your schedule as a whole and give it all the benefit of the doubt. You may have pre-existing negative biases towards some subjects, but that is no reason to assume the worst. Being optimistic about a class is a crucial first step towards developing enthusiasm for it.

Make sure you are fully prepared for the class the day it commences. That means you should show up on time with all necessary materials and give your full attention to the professor, who will most likely be giving an overview of the course material. You may have to fake enthusiasm here, but you can trick your brain into developing genuine enthusiasm this way. The first day of class is always the easiest, so make the most out of it by being on the ball right away.

Do not put off assignments. The more you procrastinate, the more slipshod your work will be. For classes you find yourself unenthusiastic about, it’s easy to purposefully avoid starting the work early. Last semester, I took a physical geography class which had 4- to 5-page assignments that we usually had a week to finish. I was not looking forward to this class, but I got all the assignments completed in a timely manner because I started as soon as I could. I also discovered that working ahead makes assignments feel like much less of a burden. When I didn’t have an impending deadline looming over me, I found myself much more interested in what I was learning.

Participation in class is essential. If you show up to every class period but simply sit there passively, you’re not going to get much out of it. If you feel a sudden urge to raise your hand to ask a question or offer your opinion, do not resist it. The response you get could very well cause you to see the value in the subject that you didn’t see before. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll will still likely have more interest than you did before.

Finding enthusiasm in a college course is all about attitude and effort. Having an optimistic attitude and putting in more than minimal effort will not only make you feel better about the class, but you will definitely perform better than you would otherwise.