Fortunately or, perhaps, sadly, depending on your viewpoint it’s not really that difficult to impress your instructor. If you go to class, you may notice that on very few days is everyone or even nearly everyone present. You can be assured that roughly the same number of people are turning in their assignments late or turning them in half-done or just turning in sloppy work. This makes your job to shine quite easy. All you have to do is:
- Arrive to class on time and stay the whole time.
- Only miss a class if you have to due to illness, a family matter, etc.
- Pay attention in class. No one likes talking to a room full of people who are texting, just like you probably don’t like going out to dinner with your friends and watching them all talk to people who aren’t there.
- Participate in class. Try to say at least one thing each class if you’re in a seminar. If you’re in lecture, you can sit in front and look engaged. Sit up straight and take notes.
- Turn in your assignments on time. Make sure you followed directions and that your work is complete.
- Make it look like you tried. Don’t write “yes” to a question. Explain your answer. If you’re doing a presentation, prepare it ahead of time instead of making up stuff on the spot. If you get to choose your own topic, choose your own topic instead of using whatever example the instructor used in class.
If it looks incredibly easy, it is. But many students do not follow these steps. If you do, you have already set yourself apart from the crowd, even if you don’t get a “A.”