written by: Amani Liggett
Some things in life are just learned by experience and observation, and some of the rules of college often fall under this subject.
- The first thing you will have to account for is being on time to class. It is important to make small notations about which professors have specific rules about getting to their class on time, as some may even lock the door after a certain amount of time has passed. Generally, it is an unwritten rule that if you are going to be past 15 minutes late to class, it’s best not to show. This is unless you have already cleared it with the professor ahead of time that you will be coming in late. Coming in late is distracting to everyone, and in many older lecture halls, the doors tend to echo loudly when opened or closed. It is best to find a friend in the class who can give you the day’s notes and a brief summary. Or better yet go to the professor’s or TA’s office hours and explain that you didn’t want to disturb class by coming in late and ask for a quick review of the lecture.
- Don’t be the one to monopolize lecture time with your discussion points. Please don’t be this person. This person always seems to be missing an essential social filter that leads them to believe his or her opinion out-ranks the professor’s. It is very annoying and time-consuming to have to listen to this person’s diatribe about their own personal experience in the matter. Also, if you are one to skip ahead in the reading or the coursework, there is no need to announce it to the class by trying to discuss ahead of the day’s curriculum. If you’re in a Mystery Fiction class, don’t spoil the ending and say who the killer is just to prove you’re a fast reader.
- The third rule relates to the first in that actually getting to class on time can be a bit nerve-wracking. This is especially true on a large campus around noon. Everyone is trying to get to class on time at the exact same time as you, whether by walking, driving, skating, or biking. The rule is simply to be courteous to others. Don’t zoom by with no respect to other’s safety, even if you are late. We all want to get to class in one piece!
- Keep you’re religious and political beliefs to yourself. Maybe it was cool to be outspoken in high school, but unless you are presently sitting in a religion, political science, or philosophy class, try to keep it to yourself in college. Even if you are burning with the desire to say something, chances are, no one wants to hear it. And the professor will inevitably get annoyed at the student that starts an off-topic debate that goes on for twenty minutes because everyone gets all riled up. It goes without saying that you do not want to annoy your professors or get on their bad side. Who knows when you might need a recommendation letter?
- Lastly, there is food. This is important. Most high schools do not allow any type of food or drink in class, so the tendency when one gets to college is to overdue the new privilege and bring whatever you want to lectures. Try to keep it mostly at small snacks; foods that wont produce a strong odor, or result in messy or noisy eating. Also, be prepared to share. Bringing shareable food, such as crackers or candy, to a classroom where half of the occupants may have skipped breakfast in order to sleep a bit more may result in moochers. Beware the moochers. Good luck!