Imagine it’s early Friday morning and you glance outside your bedroom window at a raging winter snowstorm. Your eyes are heavy, your body refuses to move and no amount of coffee can tempt you to leave bed. What will win out in the epic battle of sleep v. class?
All too often, the snooze button quickly defeats a college student’s motivation to get out of bed for morning lectures. For classes with an optional attendance policy, many students even consider them a waste of time or not worth the extra effort. While attending class is still the primary source of gathering information for most college courses, many students assume they can get just as much out of individual study, textbooks and online materials — often pushing attending scheduled classes and lectures to the back burner.
Although attending class may seem inconvenient and useless at times, does poor attendance suggest that college students are losing the value of learning in a classroom setting? Do online tools and extracurricular activities offer all that we need to be successful, or do we need to be in class taking notes in a room full of other students with real-life professors?
Ultimately it’s up to you to get the most out of your own college experience. Whether that means attending every class period or diverting your attention to a significant leadership position or part-time job, the value of class is different to everyone. Part of growing up means realizing that success takes a significant amount of time and sacrifice and that your individual choices are far more important than anything else.
Drag yourself out of bed for class and lecture and benefit from:
1. Getting to know your professors (sit in the front few rows for extra brownie points) and developing professional relationships, which can ultimately lead to securing credible recommendations or outside professional opportunities.
2. Learning real-life course material and hearing anecdotes that may be even more helpful than facts found in textbooks or on PowerPoint slides.
3. Developing relationships with classmates and peers who can help you understand material or make study sessions more enjoyable.
4. Taking advantage of the special hints or tips that so often appear on tests or exams as extra credit questions reserved for faithful lecture attendees.
5. Spending time outside your personal and online bubble that envelops everyday life and limits personal human contact.
Hit the snooze button every once and a while, but capitalize on:
1. Taking care of your own mental and physical health. It’s important for college students to sleep and realize that they can’t run on caffeine forever.
2. Spending time in the real world by learning job skills, performing well at an internship, or pouring time and energy into extra activities that will separate your resume from other students of similar ability.
3. Catching up on reading or other homework that may be more important than short class periods.
4. Developing your online and individual study skills — everything is moving online at such a rapid pace that knowing how to navigate the web and use its many resources is necessary when entering the job market.
5. Finding out what you are passionate about and where your interests lie, not often found in classroom settings.
My verdict: Although students shouldn’t abandon attending class altogether, it is important to balance school work with extracurricular activities, taking care of oneself, and prioritizing assignments.
Powered by Facebook Comments