3 Chapter 3: The Serious Student
The Serious Student
Ask most students if they are serious about learning and getting an education and they will probably say that they are. Actions however, speak louder than words. People may sometimes believe what we say, but they will always believe what we do.
Here are some of the more influential behavior patterns of a serious student:
Attend Class: It may sound too basic to even mention, but attending every class is the first and most important thing a student can do to show his/her seriousness about learning.
Fact: The number one reason students fail a class is because they stop attending class regularly.
Get to Class Before It Starts: A serious learner knows that you need time to settle into any activity at which you want to succeed. Students who show up late or at the last minute are at risk for missing out on important information and sending the wrong message to their instructors. You wouldn’t intentionally be late for a movie you paid to see, so have the same policy for class.
Be Informed and Come Prepared: Know what’s happening and what you need to be successful for every class session. Never come to class wondering what you are doing that day. Check the class schedule to see what the topic is and bring whatever you need to participate in it (textbook, notebook, writing materials, etc.).
Take Notes: Don’t just take up space in the room. Listen analytically to the instructor and write down the important points for review later.
Attitude Matters: Want to be there. As we have already mentioned, if you see going to school as a required burden that gets in the way of doing other things that you prefer to do, it will affect your performance in class. Try to make learning a desired activity, something you really want to be doing and are truly interested in. Coming to school with a positive attitude about your role as a student will make a dramatic difference in how your semester unfolds. Click here to watch a video on believing in yourself and having the right attitude for success.
Avoid Distractions: There is no shortage of things that can take your attention away from the instructor. Keep tabs on your wandering mind. Distractions can cost you in lost learning opportunities and many are also highly inappropriate for classroom environments. The following distractions can signal especially rude and disinterested behavior:
- Talking on or watching your phone
- Listening to a device in your ears
- Eating and/or drinking (Water Bottles are okay)
- Engaging in private conversations unrelated to class
- Using laptops, tablets, or other devices for streaming/social media
In summary, Look, Act, and Think like you are serious about learning:
- Look and sound enthusiastic: Study alone AND with others
- Participate: Think about LEARNING, not just about grades
- Hand in Assignments on Time: Know where you stand at all times
- Ask Questions: Follow up on questions and concerns
- Leave Distractions at the Door: Come to each class and always be fully prepared
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