How important can participating in class really be? I understand the urge to sit in the back row, hide in the shadows, and pray the teacher never calls on you. You can easily justify this feeling because you’re feeling shy, maybe even feeling a little hungover from the weekend. But did you know, participating in class might just transform your learning experience forever? Read on to find out why.

1. Get Your Money’s Worth

First and foremost, college is costly. No doubt about it. So, why not maximize the investment you’re making in yourself? By actively participating in class, you’re extracting every ounce of worth from the tuition fees you (or your parents) are paying. It’s akin to attending an all-you-can-eat buffet and solely eating a salad – sure, you won’t starve, but you’re not fully capitalizing on what you’ve spent.

2. Boost Your Understanding and Retention

Let’s face it; some college courses can be a bit challenging. But by actively participating in class, you’re giving yourself a better chance of understanding the material. Asking questions, contributing to discussions, and engaging with your peers can help cement the concepts in your brain, making it easier to recall them when it comes time for exams or assignments. Plus, you’re more likely to retain the information in the long run, which is pretty handy for those real-world situations that will inevitably come up in your future career.

3. Build Confidence in Your Communication Skills

Whether it’s speaking up in a packed lecture or participating in small group discussions, the more practice you get at conveying your thoughts, the better you’ll start to get at it. College is the time for personal development, and one of the best ways to increase your confidence and improve communication skills is by getting involved in class. Plus, you never know when those public speaking skills might come in handy down the road – like during a job interview or a presentation in your future career.

4. Develop Relationships with Professors and Peers

College isn’t just about learning facts and figures; it’s also about building relationships. By actively participating in class, you’ll not only get to know your peers better, but you’ll also catch the attention of your professors. These connections can lead to friendships, networking opportunities, and even valuable letters of recommendation for internships or graduate school applications. So, go ahead and put yourself out there – you never know where those connections might lead.

5. Stand Out in a Sea of Students

In some college courses, you might be one of the hundreds of students in a lecture hall. By actively participating, you’re setting yourself apart from the crowd and making a memorable impression on your professors. This can lead to better grades, opportunities for research or teaching assistant positions, and even preferential treatment when it comes to the grading or class participation points. In short, being an active participant in class can help you rise above the rest.

6. Crush Your Fear of Failure

Let’s be honest: participating in class can be a little intimidating. What if you ask a “stupid” question or make a mistake? But here’s the thing: everyone messes up sometimes, and that’s totally okay. By pushing past your fear of failure and participating anyway, you’re showing yourself (and others) that you’re willing to take risks and learn from your mistakes. Plus, you might be surprised at how supportive your classmates and professors can be when you put yourself out there. So, take a deep breath, raise your hand in class even when it’s uncomfortable, and embrace the chance to learn and grow.

7. Inspire Your Classmates to Participate

Your unique viewpoints, curiosity and enthusiasm in the classroom can motivate your fellow classmates to also become more engaged. This helps create an exciting and interactive learning environment for everyone. By forcing yourself to participate in class, you might even just be viewed as a positive role model. When you take the initiative to participate, you’re not only benefiting yourself – surprisingly, you’re also encouraging others to join in.

8. Improve Problem-Solving / Critical Thinking Skills

By participating in class discussions and debates, you’ll be fine-tuning your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. College is all about testing and pushing your limits. By asking questions, evaluating different views, and analyzing complex ideas, you’re fine-tuning the mental tools you’ll need to tackle real-world problems later and succeed in your chosen career.

9. Create a Sense of Belonging

When you are far away from home, college can at times feel like a very lonely place, especially when you are just starting out! If you want to feel comfortable in class, participation can go a long way to give you a sense of belonging. Not even just for yourself, but for your fellow classmates as well. When you take part in engaging discussions, your environment will feel more comfortable, helping to make your overall college experience much more rewarding.

10. Lay the Foundation for Your Future Career

In the end, the abilities you acquire through active class participation – including critical thinking, strong communication, teamwork, and leadership – are precisely the qualities employers seek in their future employees. By refining these skills now, you’ll be preparing yourself for success in the job market and beyond. So, don’t hesitate to maximize your college experience by wholeheartedly participating in your classes.

What Do You Think?

What’s your stance on participating in class? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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