Students who are in their lecturers’ top attention list are more likely to score better grades than those who don’t. Similarly, a graduate who scored the best impression at job interviews is more likely to secure employment.
So if you want better grades and a more fulfilling university experience, working hard in your studies is probably not going to be enough. You need to step up and be noticed by your lecturers.
Be warned, however, that capturing your lecturers’ attention requires strong commitment and probably a 180 degree change in your usual behaviour compared to high school. Here are 5 essential ways you can work your way into your lecturer’s good books.
#1. Show great enthusiasm and appreciation
If you have made your own observations in class, you may realise just how passive your classmates (and even you!) are.
While we understand that certain classes can be mind-numbingly boring and it’s really not your responsibility to create a lively classroom atmosphere, you still have a role to play.
Simply showing some enthusiasm in learning can mean a lot to your college lecturers. After all, let’s be honest – no one likes talking to the walls. Simple acts like sitting in the front row, (genuinely) paying attention in class, taking down notes, answering questions and thanking your lecturer after classes can snowball into a lasting impression.
Of course, dozing off in class, secretly tapping on your phone or scrolling Facebook are huge no-nos!
#2. Actively ask pertinent questions
Lecturers usually give students ample opportunities to pose questions but very often, they are left squandered with students being more excited about their after-class activities.
For you, grab these golden moments! The truth is, you don’t really get many chances to get your doubts clarified, so ask away. Getting your answers now is infinitely better than leaving it to the last-minute scrambling for answers right before exams.
Briefly go through the content for your upcoming class and prepare your questions beforehand. Aim to have all your questions answered in class.
Needless to say, ask appropriate questions related to the subject and not those that are frequently loathed by lecturers such as, ‘Will this be in exams?’ or ‘Can you repeat what you said 15 minutes ago?’.
#3. Bring your conversation outside
Did you know you can actually ask for a meeting with your college lecturer outside the usual classroom hours? Sometimes, your lecturer can become a mentor to you too!
Ask for your lecturers’ free time politely and very often, your lecturers will be happy to comply. Try not to limit your discussions to topics already covered in class but include external contexts such as current issues or research ideas to gain extra perspective and add significance to your discussions.
Apart from earning commendations from your lecturers for your curiosity, you will also earn extra bits of information on real-life application of concepts or ideas for your pet projects in university.
Best of all, you may score some crucial tips for your upcoming exams too!
#4. Volunteer when you have the chance
Scoring a good impression comes very easily when you’re always proactively offering your time and making effort in class. Think about it – people tend to remember those who stand out.
Prepare yourself well so that you can always volunteer and respond proactively whenever a situation calls for it. This is because opportunities for you to take initiative always come in different shapes and forms.
From actively responding to your lecturers’ questions to being the representative (read: leader) of your class, you will surely etch a lasting mark on your lecturers. Oh, and some lecturers offer bonus marks to students who are always courageously stepping up in class. #motivation
#5. Participate in activities or competitions
College lecturers will take notice and appreciate your initiative and interest in seeking out relevant exposure beyond the confines of the classroom. For this, seek out relevant activities and events to further boost your understanding in pertinent fields.
For instance, if you’re an Electrical & Electronic Engineering student, you can participate in various robotics competitions (major ones like ABU Robocon, World Robot Olympiad, etc. offer great exposure). Or if you’re a Business undergraduate, take part in the numerous business case competitions that are typically offered by financial institutions and multinational companies.
These activities not only help you apply what you know in theory but also provide you with more topics to raise in conversations with your lecturers both in and out of the classroom, creating a more engaging relationship between you and your lecturers.
You probably realise by now that these tips are not exactly ways to flatter your college lecturers (which is terribly insincere, by the way) just to curry favours from them. The ultimate goal is for you to develop a lasting and fruitful professional relationship with your lecturers. And that requires a certain level of maturity and displaying universally favourable traits.
Believe us, the commitment and effort that you pour into developing professional relationships with your lecturers are precisely what you need to develop further professional relationships at work later on. Take action, show fervour in class and witness the profound changes in yourself.