How to Stand Out in Class


Whether you are afraid your voice won’t be heard in a class of over 200 students, or you simply do not care about being noticed in class, it is important to set yourself apart from your peers. Getting noticed in class plays a big role in getting good grades.

So, why is it important? Professors.

Although your personal hard work contributes to getting good grades, professors are also important links when it comes to acing your various classes. Standing out in class ensures that your professor knows who you are. Most professors still have connections with the corporate world and can provide connections to future job openings and other opportunities you might need.

The goal is to always get positive attention, so here are a few tips to make sure you stand out in class.

1. Introduce Yourself

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but, as old as it may be, it works. The first day of class is usually a flurry of everyone trying to introduce themselves. What you can do to be different is to be the first student to make use of office hours. Use that time to introduce yourself and tell your professor what you are looking forward to in their class. This helps the professor put a face to a name so when you email your professor, they know exactly who you are. You are more likely to get a more immediate response this way.

2. Be Engaged in Class

Professors tend to remember the students who are engaged in class. This does not mean you must talk or ask questions all the time – being engaged in class means giving meaningful contributions in class discussions and activities. It shows that you are interested in the course material and that you are paying attention to the professor. 

3. Follow Instructions

This will literally give you a gold star and a smiley face in class. At the beginning of each semester, professors give out their course syllabi and rubrics for their various classes. These take a lot of time and effort for the professor to create. Make an effort to follow their guidelines for the class because different professors have different rules. It is important to know what your specific professor expects from you, as this will save you from any unnecessary reprimands.

4. Upload Your Picture on Owl Express

I highly recommend you put a picture of yourself as your icon on Owl Express. This makes it easy for professors and other students to identify you. This is also very helpful when you email your professor, as they can have some idea of who they are talking to.

5. Make Use of Office Hours

This is another old trick, and it honestly works and stands the test of time. Professors love it when you come to their office hours. This is a helpful opportunity for students, as professors can better explain any misunderstandings you may have. Office hours can also be used to discuss some career plans you might have with your professors. This might sound weird, but professors have many connections and they are more than happy to help.

Always remember that succeeding as a student means that your professors did a good job, too, so be sure to make good use of your time with them.