Starting college is intimidating. On top of that, it’s pretty likely that your first classes will be huge, intro-level classes that almost everyone has to take. Daunting huh?

Making a great impression and getting noticed will help you get connections that can help you immensely throughout your college career.  Here are 4 tips to help you get​ noticed from the first class:

Participate


Raising your hand and speaking in a class will definitely help you get noticed. Lots of new students don’t feel comfortable enough to participate. Fear of making a mistake or being wrong holds them back. 

Sometimes, even the wrong answer will spark an important discussion in class or will show the professor that their students are not grasping the topic just yet. People will not remember your mistake either, so don’t let that stop you.

If you feel like you have something valuable to contribute (you definitely do), you should participate in class. It helps move along the discussion and it engages yourself in the material more. Some classes have part of the grade calculated based on participation, and you won’t have to worry about it if it already comes naturally.

Going up to your professor and asking them a question right after class is a good way to get comfortable participating in front of your peers. Your professor will get to know you, and they’ll often encourage you to speak up in front of the class in the future. 

If you have a tangent or an unrelated anecdote to the lecture, however, it’s always best to save it for after class. You don’t want to distract from the lecture, just add to it.

Go to office hours


Office hours are an amazing way to get one-on-one attention for first-year students if you’re struggling in a class. It’s also a great way to talk to a professor and get to know them. It’s surprising how many students choose not to go to office hours when a professor specifically sets aside time to be available to help them.

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If you are in an extremely difficult class and expect office hours to be busy, you can always send your professor a quick email saying you will be at office hours so they know to expect you. 

Always follow your professor’s procedures for going to office hours. Some prefer that you sign up for a time slot ahead of time, while others prefer that students come and go as they please.

Use proper discretion when going to office hours just to chat with your professor. It’s a great time to introduce yourself, but be mindful of your time and remember that students that have questions about the class will be trying to go to office hours. 
If no one else comes to office hours, feel free to spend as much time there as you like.

Put effort into your classes


Putting effort into your classes is a safe way to be noticed from the first class. This not only includes participating in class but also trying to succeed in class. Your noticed effort will have the professor respect you. Going slightly above and beyond in assignments will show that you respect the professor and their class.

If you need to write a paper for a class, make sure you do the right amount of research and tie things you learned in the class to the material in your paper. If you’re encouraged to be creative in an assignment, try to do something you’re interested in.

Don’t take risks with your assignments, but printing out an essay on good quality paper or turning in a homework assignment with very neat handwriting will be noticed.

Professors and teaching assistants can tell when a student is completely disengaged. Even if the topic of the class is not something you think you’d enjoy, try to find aspects of the course you can get interested in and use those to get interested in your course.

Ask for help if you need it


Reaching out to a professor or teaching assistant for help is always a good idea. Even if you just have a small uncertainty about a homework question, email your teaching assistant so you feel more confident about your work.

If you cannot make office hours but need to talk to your professor, reach out to them and ask if you can schedule a time outside of office hours to meet with them. Professors want to make sure their students can succeed, so do not be shy to ask for what you need.

Having the drive to ask for help shows your professor that you care about doing well in the course and are actually trying to do better. If you’re struggling in a class, it can feel like you don’t belong.

Not every topic comes naturally to everyone, so it is strongly encouraged to ask for help. Often, it is the students that ask for help and gets help in the class that does the best in it.


Now that you read our 4 tips on how to get noticed from the first class, let Upkey help you get noticed from your resume too! Go to Upkey.com for all the career advice you’ll need.

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