Fall impressions matter

Spencer Ivey

It goes without saying that coming back to school is exciting. Friends abound and nothing but new experiences ahead, I understand that it can be easy to lose sight of our ultimate goal here: to achieve academic success. Of course, we all want to do well academically, but keeping that mentality in the forefront of our minds is hard. I’m here to tell you that while excessive studying and understanding the material might be a popular way to receive a good grade, I’ve discovered an easier, much less strenuous way to get ahead of the game.

I’ve always lived by the quote, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” If you want to get a leg up in your classes this year, you should too.

Whether you are a senior or a first-year, making a positive first impression by wearing appropriate attire, participating in class and meeting your professor will boost your grade before you even turn in an assignment.

Clothing and appearance come first. I’m not suggesting that you wear your Sunday best, but I am suggesting that you wear something a little bit classier than everyday wear. Act as if you are meeting a date for a casual lunch. Your appearance should demonstrate that you take a genuine interest in conducting yourself in a positive manner. To those students who wake up 10 minutes before class and throw on whatever clothing seems to be within arm’s reach: professors notice your sloppy look and do not look favorably upon it. While they understand that this is college, your pajamas give off a vibe of unpreparedness and lack of interest for the class.

Secondly, participate! Even a small contribution to the class discussion will not go unnoticed. Professors understand that the first few days or maybe weeks of class are more relaxed, but they still expect you to show interest. A little bit of effort here will go a long way towards getting on your professor’s “nice list”. Of course, answering every question might be excessive—shoot to find an appropriate balance.

And, finally, introduce yourself. Especially if you are in a large class with more than 50 people, your face can easily get lost in the crowd. Introduce yourself and you will no longer be just another name on the professor’s long class roster. You become that nice man or lady who decided to make the extra effort to make a connection. You’d be surprised how much professors love to interact with students; you may even like it too.

Now that’s not too bad, right? While this formula for getting ahead won’t bring your grade up froman F to an A, it will certainly give you some precious percentage points. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, if you make a good first impression with your professor, the semester will not only be more enjoyable for you, but also for your professor. Trust me, keeping your professors happy is a good thing.

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