To be honest, I hated to participate in class when I was an undergraduate in college and, as a result, I rarely did.
I know what you’re probably thinking: I’m the least-qualified person ever to write this post – but actually, you can learn a lot from my college mistakes.
Check out some very good reasons why you shouldn’t follow my example and should participate in your US college classes.
You’ll Catch the Professor’s Attention.
Making yourself heard in class is a good way to get noticed. The professor will be more likely to take an interest in you and remember your name, which will help build rapport. This will come in handy later, especially when you need to request letters of recommendation! Your former prof will be far more invested in writing you a good letter of recommendation if he or she remembers you from class!
Participating in class is also a good way to get to know your fellow students. People take note of the individuals who speak up in class. It shows that you’re open and sociable, and it will make your classmates more willing to approach you.
You’ll Remember the Lectures.
It can be easy to tune out the drone of your professor’s voice and daydream, especially in lectures. But while you do that, you’re missing critical information that you’ll probably have to learn in the future — especially when you’re studying for finals!
When you participate in class, you are forced to pay close attention to the lecture and think critically about the subject at hand. This is a great way to remember the information you learn over the course of the semester — and it sure beats having to cram at the last minute!
You’ll Practice Your Speaking Skills.
While I hardly ever spoke when earning my undergrad degree, by the time I got to graduate school, I had no choice but to participate in class. The course sizes were much smaller and students were expected to participate every day. Sitting quietly in the corner simply wasn’t an option — although I definitely would have preferred it!
When I first started participating, I found it incredibly difficult. I’m naturally shy, and I had almost no practice when it came to in-class participation. I was easily flustered and always felt self-conscious.
But as is usually the case, though I was feeling self-conscious, nobody was judging me more harshly than myself. It made for a nerve-wracking and humbling experience – all of which could have been avoided had I participated more actively as an undergraduate. Participating may seem intimidating (trust me, I know) but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
Plus, if English isn’t your native tongue, its a great way to strength your language skills and become a more confident English speaker.
You’ll Prepare for the “Real World.”
By participating in class, you are unconsciously learning how to carry yourself and speak in front of other people – lifelong skills that will be a huge help far beyond college.
By participating in class, you are practicing your speaking skills, learning to think on your toes and develop ideas quickly.
When you are done with college and enter the working world, you will have to be able to present yourself professionally. You will have to go on job interviews and corporate meetings. You may have to give presentations in front of your boss. All of these tasks will be significantly less intimidating if you have experience talking in front of people — and a great way to start is to raise your hand and participate in class.