Ah, the delicious thrill of class participation. You raise your hand, tentatively at first, before fully solidifying your thought and thrusting your hand into the air. But how will you distinguish yourself from every other well-prepared student in the class? You can’t just comment on the author’s intentions or ask a question about figures mentioned in a study, no, you must do something that catches the attention of your professor and makes them think, “Wow, this kid knows their stuff,” and not, “Why is this school full of fucking normies…God, I wish I was teaching at Oberlin.”
- Begin with, “This is more of a comment than a question, but…” and quote the abstract. For this one, you should be wildly waving your hand in the air even before the professor has started talking, because there’s no better way to start class than making sure everyone knows that you can summarize the text in someone else’s words. If you’re still feeling the need to prove yourself, make the class end a few minutes late by reading aloud the final pages.
- Mention an article/novel/artwork unknown to the rest of the class. What you read in your high school English class may not totally relate to the topic at hand, but what better way to prove your intelligence than letting everyone know that you memorized the opening of The Canterbury Tales when you were 16!
- Email your professor your entire inner monologue during class. For those of you known for your reticence, this is a fool-proof way to have your voice seen, but not heard. To make sure that you don’t seem like too much of a nerd, include every thought about how many Natty Lites you had last night and take care to note each instance you peeked at the clock.
- Memorize and recite paragraphs of text, even if they’re irrelevant. Sure, you may derail the discussion for a few minutes, but this is way cooler than simply interjecting a silly original thought!
- Take 30 seconds to flip over each meticulously highlighted page. With every word in a different neon color, how could your professor (and every other student) not notice how well-prepared for class you are?