It’s inevitable. During the course of your college career, you will face many classes you just plain don’t like. Sometimes the subject matter is too challenging. Other times, the professor is boring. And other times, there’s something distracting about the classroom, or the time is inconvenient. No matter the reason, you can’t just drop out of every class you find untenable. With the right mindset and a few tips, though, you can survive even the most brutal class unscathed.
First, do your research online. Find reviews of the course and the professor you’re taking. Not only can you sometimes avoid a bad class or lackadaisical teacher, but forewarned is forearmed … often you can glean great pointers from previous students. If you know how to approach the class from the very beginning, you’re prepared for all the bumps and bruises that might occur throughout the semester.
Second, go to class. While this is definitely a no-brainer, it also becomes increasingly more difficult to subject yourself to something you actively dislike as the semester moves along. But skipping class just makes things worse – it’s like an avalanche waiting to happen. Stay current on your attendance, your note-taking, and your studying, otherwise you’ll end up hating the class even more through the lens of a failing grade.
Also, find a partner and keep each other accountable. Even if you don’t start the class with a friend, it should be your mission to snag a study partner from the melee early on. Not only will having some social ties to the course help encourage your attendance, but it will actually improve the chances that you’ll study regularly and be more successful with the material.
Finally, be an active listener in each meeting. Even if it’s the type of class where the teacher provides the notes online, add your own comments to the document as the lecture proceeds, complete with any thoughts or associations you might have based on the information. This will keep you alert and awake during the course, and will help you to have a better grasp on the subject matter presented.