You’ve successfully completed high school, applied to college, and registered for classes. You show up to the room listed on your schedule the first day of class and you find yourself in a large auditorium. It’d be easy to get lost in the crowd. The professor might not even realize if you’re missing from class. Sure, there are moments where that would seem appealing, especially for those 8am classes after a long weekend. But if you want to succeed in your classes and put all that tuition money to good use, you’re going to need to find ways to make the most of that lecture.
It may feel awkward, but be sure to introduce yourself to your professor. That connection can be difficult to make in a large class, so taking the initiative to put your face to the name in your prof’s grade book can be a good start.
Fight the urge to hit the snooze button and skip that snore of a lecture. It may not be the most entertaining class that you have, but it’s likely a requirement and/or a prerequisite for you. And the grade can hurt or help your GPA regardless of the fun factor of the class, so make it count.
Focus and Take Notes
Let’s face it. Lectures can get really boring. So do yourself a favor and stay focused on what the professor is saying. Take notes. Not only will the process help you concentrate on the lecture, but it will also provide you a good resource when it comes time to study later on down the road.
Participate in Class
While there are often fewer opportunities for discussion in large lecture-based classes, so take advantage of the times your professor offers you to speak up. Answer questions from your professor. Ask questions when you don’t understand. Offer feedback whenever possible.
Make Use of Office Hours
Most professors have some sort of time set aside in their office when they’re available to their students. Make an appointment to meet with your professor to discuss more difficult concepts and stay on track.
Take Advantage of Study Sessions
Whether there are pre-designed study sessions or you’re left to create your own study group, it’s a good idea to get involved, as these can often provide more personal connections with the learning materials with the help of other students.
There are no guarantees in life, especially when it comes to grades. But if you heed the above advice, you’ll likely get a lot more out of your boring large lecture and save yourself from repeating the class or suffering from an unfortunate grade. Remember that college is what you make of it. Your instructors are getting paid whether you show up to class or not, whether you take advantage of office hours and study sessions or not, and whether you enjoy the class or not. Why not get your money’s worth?