- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 28 September 2016
- Written by NICOLE SEITZ | STAFF WRITER
The idea that an 18-year-old student is paying thousands of dollars to sit in a classroom and listen to someone talk about a topic for 3 hours is supposed to make you ready for the real world is really a crazy concept when you think about it. This is a reality for many college students (and even kids in high school and grade school) who do not care about school and think they can get by just sitting in the back of the room and not participating.
An emphasis on participation may be seen as unnecessary and trivial to some students, but really participation is the best way for a professor or teacher to see that you are actually learning something and getting something out of the class.
Getting involved in discussion and really processing the information and forming your own thoughts about the content is the most important part of the class. At the college level, most of your professors went to school for over 5 years getting master’s degrees and PhD’s in their respective fields. They spent a great deal of time learning, reading, writing, and expanding their knowledge of the world so they can share it with you.
All of their experience and education is right at your fingertips; we should all be taking advantage of that. It may seem like professors are crazy for assigning all this work just to torture us, but that is rarely the case. All the essays and books we are asked to do and read provide us with knowledge and the ability to create our own thoughts about that knowledge.
Another obstacle in engaging and participating in class may be shyness or anxiety, which is totally understandable. As someone who has anxiety and can be badly affected by it, I understand that it can be hard to raise your hand and speak your mind. Maybe you think you are wrong, have a dumb question, or that your opinion is stupid. The truth is, whatever you say (as long as it is thought out) will be greatly appreciated by a professor. Professors love when people say something straying from the norm, it means you are thinking outside of the box and putting great thought into it.
So, what is the point of my rant, you ask? I want to make you aware of the importance of participation, not only in class, but in life. We can participate in class to help us gain more knowledge and work with our peers to further our understanding of the world, but we can also focus on participating more in life. Don’t go day by day just going through the motions, live and be an active participant in all the crazy things life has to throw at you. That’s the only way we grow as people and become better version of ourselves.
IMAGE TAKEN BY Lauren Niesz