Class participation is one of the easiest ways to promote success in college. Being engaged can boost your grades, help you stand out to your professors, and help you learn more! Participation may also make you a more likely candidate for scholarships, research opportunities, jobs, and special recognition for which your professors may nominate you. The following tips will help you or a student you know be an active learner in the college classroom:

1 ) Be prepared for class
Completing your homework and assigned reading is the most important factor for doing well in class. If you attend class prepared, it will be easier to participate, pass tests and quizzes, and learn the material (which is why you are there in the first place!).

2 ) Arrive on time
Punctuality shows that you are serious about the class and you value the time you spend there.

3 ) Sit in the front
You will be easily visible to your professor and you will listen better from the front of the classroom.

4 ) Hold a pen
Having a writing utensil in hand is a signal to your professor that you are ready and willing to take notes.

5 ) Take notes
In a lecture class, you need to write down information – at the very least – every 5 minutes. This will help you stay present and retain information.

6 ) Nod your head
What better way to show your professor that you are listening and engaged than with your body language!

7 ) Make eye contact
Keep your eyes up and watch your professor as he/she lectures. Sooner or later your eyes will meet and he/she will see that you are engaged in class!

8 ) Speak up
Make sure your voice is heard at least once a week in your classes. If you have a question, ask it. If you have an opinion, share it. Your professor will recognize your effort if you make a point to speak up!

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Hey everyone,

If you read my first blog post, you will know how hectic my week was days before Spring Break. I am happy to say that I survived—thinking back on it, I don’t even know how! But this does not mean that school is now suddenly calm; I have two papers and an assignment due tomorrow and I have more exams coming up within only a matter of weeks. With all of the work students in college have to handle, it is not surprising that most of them are overly stressed. I am no exception.

One of the biggest battles I struggle with during school is trying to figure out how to maintain my sanity. Dealing with family and relationship problems, health issues, and financial difficulties are only a few of the things college students have to deal with. On top of all that, we have to worry about exams, papers, and a ton of assignments. Although I am currently finishing my second year in college and I am not as wise as the seniors when it comes to this topic, I have been able to learn so much about ways to cope with stress in an environment like this (especially since it is often talked about in Psychology, my major). Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Talk to your professors: This is probably one of the most important things college students should do but don’t take the time to do (including me until this semester). Talking to your professors can reduce an enormous amount of stress, especially if you are unable to understand a concept or even if you completely bombed one of the exams. It is amazing how sympathetic and encouraging a professor can be when you just take the time to communicate!

2. Reach out to others: Pretty much everyone on campus is on his or her own with no siblings or family members to rely on. I learned that, for me, I need to have support from others since my family is not around. Professors, faculty, friends, and roommates can contribute greatly to helping you out when you need to talk with someone. I’ve noticed that one of the biggest supportive relationships someone can have on campus is through their roommate (I will blog about my roommate experiences next month!). Having someone you can vent to and someone who understands you is so helpful and can reduce the amount of stress that you feel.

3. Take time for yourself: I struggle with this so much! In fact, I almost never do things for me. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who have already gone through the college experience stress how important this is. Even joining a weekly club or a sports team is very beneficial. College should be a time to get good grades, but also a time to have fun and enjoy life! I vow that I will start spending more “me time” from now on.

My advice seems like common sense (and it is!), but when you are in college you suddenly seem to lose track of the little things that you can do in order to make your life much easier.

Wishing you all a stress-free month,


PS: I mentioned how I am planning to blog about my roommate experiences for next month. Please, please, please let me know (in the comments section) if there is anything you would like to hear about regarding my college experiences.

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