7 things NOT to do in class (and what you probably should do, too)

05/29/15

No doubt you’ve heard how college is going to be different from high school. For starters, this will probably be the first time you sit in a classroom with 300+ students. In order to prepare you for the lecture hall, we’ve come up with a list of what you shouldn’t (and should) do in class. And, while some of these may seem like no-brainers, don’t be surprised if you see a fellow college freshman commit one (or all) of these crimes.

DON’T

1. Eat

Even if you’re not making bacon and pancakes (but, if you’re going to eat in class — might as well go all out), eating can be a big distraction. Crunching chips. Greasy fingers. That annoying sound the bag makes. Take our advice and eat before class.

2. Show up late

Some professors can be big sticklers for punctuality. In fact, you may have one who won’t allow you to come in late. Show up on time and avoid the distraction.

3. Sleep

We know that sometimes you’ll need to pull an all-nighter. But, don’t catch up on sleep in class. Also, even though you probably can, don’t show up to class in PJs. It’ll just make you want to sleep even more.

4. Interrupt

One easy way to show you haven’t been listening is to interrupt class to ask a question that has already been answered or is on the syllabus. Pay attention and avoid the embarrassment.

5. Talk

First of all — rude! Second, you’re probably going to miss something important if you continue your conversation about what you did last weekend. You’re a big kid now. It can wait for an hour, we promise.

6. Text or catch up on social media

This is probably professors’ biggest pet peeve. When you’re staring at your phone screen, you aren’t paying attention to class. Trust us — the texts, the tweets, that photo on Instagram — it will all be there when class is out. Unless you’re tweeting out lecture notes, stop.

7. Forget to put your phone on silent

Even if you absolutely love your ringtone, it loses about seven cool points when it goes off during that one moment of silence in the lecture. And, yes, it will go off at the worst possible time. That’s just the way it works. Put your phone on silent, and put it away.

DO

1. Show up on time

Besides avoiding the distraction of walking in late, you’ll get a better seat choice.

2. Show up prepared

Read the class assignment. Know what’s going on. The lecture will make so much more sense if you walk in prepared for the topic.

3. Have something to take notes with

Unless you can remember everything (and we’re super jealous if you can), you should be actively listening and taking notes. It could be your computer or a simple notebook and pen. Come exam time, you’ll thank us.

4. Make friends

There may come a time where you can’t make it to class or have no clue what the last reading assignment was about. By meeting people in a large lecture, you can share notes for classes you miss and form smaller study groups to review test material.

5. Ask questions

Don’t think that you’ll look stupid. In college, you’re encouraged to ask questions and challenge your way of thinking. If you’ve been paying attention, and the professor hasn’t already answered it, raise that hand and ask away.

6. Drink coffee before class

It can truly be a lifesaver. As exciting as college can be, there may be a time in lecture where it’s simply hard to stay awake. Caffeine can help. Getting enough sleep the night before, though, is even better.

7. Participate

When you actively participate in a discussion, you’re more likely to recall the information at a later time. Bonus, you can stand out in a crowd to your professor (you know, that person with the real-world job connections). Now that you’ve mastered the college dos and dont’s, share your experience with other students by reviewing your college.

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