During the time you spend in college, you are going to have to take a wide variety of courses that you may either hate or just flat out struggle with. Everyone’s got their strong subjects and their weak ones, and in college you’re going to have to go through both. General education plans set us up to take a multitude of different courses, with some of them that most likely not even pertain to your major. So here you are, stuck in a class that either doesn’t engage you or feels like its way over your head. What can you do to get out of there with not only a passing grade, but hopefully one that bolsters your GPA? Well let me fill you in on some secrets I’ve figured out after my four years of college. I’ve got somewhat of a five step program, that if you follow each step, you are assured a passing grade at the very least.
Go to class:
This may sound extremely obvious to you, but you may find it’s harder than you’d think with a class that doesn’t feel engaging or where the material is just flying over your head. The best way to be assured to not miss out on any work and to gain face recognition with the professor is to just go and sit there. You don’t need to be talkative or participate every day, but just sitting through the course of the lecture will do more good for you than you can imagine. For the average run-of-the-mill college student, you don’t have anything more important going on, and you really have no excuse not to go. So you may be tired, ‘not in the mood’, or hung-over. Don’t make excuses because sometimes it doesn’t matter what shape you show up in, just get there at the very least. You’ll still learn more and be more involved than if you stayed home.
Read the Book:
You’d be surprised how closely most professor’s material follows the readings they’ve selected for you. Most professors add a little bit of strictly lecture information as incentive to get you to show up to class, but the bulk of the information you need to know comes straight out of the book you’re assigned. I’ve had friends and study partners come to me complaining about how they’re struggling with the material, when they haven’t even given the book a fair shot. It’s easier than it sounds if you just get your face between the book covers and just read.
Make friends in the class:
Everyone’s got their own in class etiquette. You got the people in the back on their laptops facebooking, the people up front frantically scribbling down every word that drops from the teacher’s lips, and the people in the middle doing a little bit of both. Some people are outgoing and will instantaneously hit it off with their classmates, while others are more reserved. It doesn’t matter which of these sounds more like you, just make some effort to talk about the material and organize studying with some classmates. Some of my best friends in college have come from classmates and not the people I party with. You’ll find you learn the material better, have more fun with it, and may even get competitive to try and outscore your buddy. Also, if you’re having trouble with an assignment or missed class, a friend will be there to give some out-of-class support.
Talk with the professor:
It’s easier for a professor to grade you harshly or dismiss an excuse if you’re a name and not a face. Try and make it to your professor’s office hours or talk after class, if nothing besides introduce yourself and comment on the course. This builds a relationship and will make you and the professor more willing to cater to the others needs. You’ll find that when you know a professor you on a personal basis you are more motivated to go to class, do the assigned work, and ask questions in and out of class. In turn you’re professor will be more responsive to your questions, and more understanding of your work.
Better late than never:
You’ve missed an assignment, or didn’t get a paper in on time. With all the stress associated with deadlines and college life, you may find a certain sense of comfort in shrugging the assignment off and just saying, “To hell with it…” That may feel great for the time being, but you’re going to leave the class disappointed knowing you could have done better. Get the work in, even if it’s late and you don’t get credit. It will either get you partial credit, or let the professor know that you still got the job done and didn’t just give up.
Well there you have it, just follow those five steps and I give you my word that there isn’t one class that you won’t make it through!