Professors are human, like everyone else. They have feelings, preferences, and pet peeves. While they’re supposed to be objective, especially when it comes to grades, it’s impossible to rule out the effect of their subjective judgments. That’s why it always pays to get—and stay!—on your professor’s good side. Here’s how to get on your professor’s good side:
Participate in class.
Nothing will get you on your professor’s good side faster than in-class participation. No professor—even in a lecture-based class—wants to spend the entire time talking to a bunch of blank faces. Instead, get involved. Even if that means just asking questions.
Ask good questions.
Not all questions are created equal, of course. Asking what the homework is if the homework is already listed on the syllabus will just demonstrate that you’re not really paying attention. It’s better to ask questions that show you’re engaged with the material, even if you’re only asking for help.
Don’t distract other students.
If you’re eating in class, noisily unwrapping a candy bar, or playing on your phone, whispering to your friends, or even trying to nap with your eyes open, you should assume your professor will notice. This is especially true if your behaviors affect other students’ ability to concentrate. Never do these things and you’re one step closer to getting on your professor’s good side!
Make use of your professor’s office hours.
Most professors spend at least a few hours a week sitting alone in their offices, hoping a student will come in for some one-on-one help. Making use of that time will definitely improve your comprehension of the material, may boost your performance on final exams, will probably improve your participation grade, and will go a long way to convincing your professor that you’re an actively-engaged student.
Show up to class on time.
Arriving to class late on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to get noticed by your professor—and not in a good way. Showing up on time, on the other hand, will ensure that you get and stay on your professor’s good side for the whole semester. Consistency is key! Be a polite, reliable student from the moment class starts to the moment it ends.
Studying may not be fun, but it will help you get better grades on everything from homework to final exams. And good grades are essential for everything from scholarships to competitive job applications, so it pays to study hard and often. Thankfully we’re here to make the process a little easier with 5 unusual study tips to improve your grades:
1. Take breaks every 90 minutes.
It seems counter-intuitive, but taking breaks from studying is key to studying success. Try taking a break after every 90-minute study session, which will give your body a chance to reset and renew, boosting energy levels and alertness.
2. Take a short nap.
But not for longer than 20 minutes. This limits you to the lighter stages of sleep, which boosts energy and alertness in the same way taking a break does: by giving your body a chance to relax. However, napping for longer than 20 minutes may result in a groggy feeling, in which you feel more tired than before your nap. Avoid grogginess at all costs!
Physical exercise increases blood flow to the brain, meaning you can focus longer and remember more. Plus it releases endorphin, which makes you happy! Better still, exercise reduces stress and may help you fall asleep at night.
4. Study somewhere new.
According to the New York Times, just switching study spots each time you study increases data retention. Come up with a routine. Hit the library, the coffee shop, your dorm room, and whatever study lounges you can find. The point here: variety is important.
5. Eat a banana.
Bananas are brain food! They have tons of vitamins and minerals and low glycemic carbohydrates, making them the perfect food to boost your energy. Other good study foods include peanut butter, fish, eggs, and (of course!) coffee.
If your blood pressure rises when midterms draw near, then it’s probably time to start studying. That’s because performing well on exams isn’t just a matter of being smart. It’s also a matter of being prepared. Ace your midterms with these study tips:
1. Start studying as early as you can.
Don’t cram all night immediately before exams. Instead, study for shorter periods of time on a more regular basis over time. This encourages long-term data retention instead of temporary memorization.
2. Study often.
As suggested above, studying more frequently is better than studying for longer periods of time. Learning, after all, is an exercise in repetition: the more times you visit the material, the better you’re able to remember it.
3. Study during the day.
Doing it at night means you’re probably doing it tired. Tired people don’t focus well or retain as much. Even if you’re not tired when you study, you’ll probably be tired the next day as a result of studying, which limits the usefulness of follow-up study sessions.
4. Exercise first.
Take a jog, ride a bike, run up and down the stairs, hit the gym, or just do some jumping jacks in your dorm room. The movement will increase blood flow to your brain. Now, a little science for you: brains with increased blood flow work better, remember more, and have an easier time recalling information.
5. Study in different places.
According to the New York Times, just switching study spots each time you study increases data retention, so it pays to come up with what you might call a “location rotation.” Hit the library, the coffee shop, your dorm room, study lounges around campus—anywhere and everywhere that’s suitable for studying. The point here: variety is the spice of life and studying.
6. Know your ideal environment.
If you study best in a group, find one. If you like your silence, skip the aforementioned coffee shop. Know how your brain works, where you can and can’t focus, and make the extra effort to find conditions you excel under. Then seek them out.
7. Make sure you have your books.
Don’t think that going to class in enough. You need your textbooks! Buy or rent your books with our sister-brand, ValoreBooks, to save up to 90% off list price. Plus, once the semester is over, you can sell those textbooks back for cash!
Tuition, books, room and board, and life in general cost more than they should. But you work hard for your money, so don’t let the cost of college break the bank. All you need to do is become a savvy spender. Here are 5 ways to save money in college:
The best way to save money in college is to think about spending before you do it. Start by putting a limit on your monthly expenditures. Avoid exceeding that limit at all costs! To choose a number, consider the following: conservative estimates are better and no budget should exceed the income that funds it. In other words, don’t dip into your savings if you don’t have to.
2. Make use of your student ID.
You know what’s awesome about being a student? Student Discounts! You’d be surprised how often and how much you’ll save on food, entertainment, transportation, museums, and more. As a student, you even qualify for an International Student Identity Card, which can save you boatloads on travel! A rule of thumb to maximize your savings: every time you spend money, get in the habit of asking if there’s a student discount.
3. Buy in bulk.
Don’t resort to sample-sized bottles of toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, or food items that don’t spoil. Go big and save money. Better yet, go big during a sale and stock up when all your essentials are cheap. You’ll spend a bit more at the register, but over time you’ll save money.
4. Enjoy free fun.
Eating out at restaurants or going into the city can cost a pretty penny, so why not enjoy free campus activities instead? Most campuses host screenings, lectures, dances, parties, concerts, and more—all free of charge. Check your school’s events calendar for leads.
5. Use cash instead of credit.
The nice thing about cash is that you can’t spend more than you have. If you spend more than you have with a credit card, and don’t pay your bill at the end of the month, you’ll get stuck with late fees or interest payments. That’s wasted money! Plus, according to psychologists, people tend to spend less when they’re using cash. Apparently the physical act of handing someone money—and actually seeing your wallet get thinner—isn’t as enjoyable as you thought.
Summer internships are a fantastic opportunity for college students. They allow you to get your foot in the door at a company and give you first-hand experience in the working world. Remember, however, that you only have 2-3 months to deliver and gain value from your work experience—so make the most of your summer internship! Here’s how:
1. Be on time.
Although it seems self-explanatory, sleeping in during the summertime can be incredibly enticing. Fight the urge and show up to your internship on time. You’ll make a better impression and get the most out of every day.
2. Always be ready to learn.
As an intern, you’re not expected to know everything. You are, however, expected to be open to learning all that you can. Being flexible and expressing interest will help you tremendously.
3. Maintain a positive attitude.
It’s important to remain positive as an intern, even if some of your time is spent completing pesky or tedious tasks. Proving you’re enthusiastic and hard working will lead to more significant responsibilities over time.
4. Volunteer yourself.
If you ever find yourself bored and without work, offer your services to your supervisor/boss. Come to them with well-thought out ideas and prove yourself as an independent thinker and worker.
5. Keep a journal/work notebook.
Taking notes is the key to success in any internship. Not only will this help you keep organized, it gives you something to look back on when updating your resume!
Remember that every person in your office and every professional connection you make can be useful to you in the future. Introduce yourself and have conversations. The more of a mark you make, the more they’ll think about you during hiring season. Not to mention these people will most likely be your references when applying for jobs in the future.