First Day of Classes…Where the Heck am I Going to Sit?!

The second you walk into that classroom, the sheer size overwhelms you. There are more people in this gen-ed class than there are in your neighborhood! And the worst part about it is…you know absolutely no one in this gigantic room. You’re vulnerable and terrified, but you don’t want anyone to know so you must swiftly find a place to sit. There imposes the problem. Where the heck are you supposed to sit? Front? Back? Somewhere in between?! The seats are filling fast! The professor just looked at you! Hurry up and choose!

Relax. You’re not there yet. You’re still safe at home. To make sure that uncomfortable feeling doesn’t happen to you, let me tell you some pros and cons of the seating locations in larger classrooms so you don’t have that awful feeling your first day in class.

Move Towards the Front

Okay now that you understand that…let’s discuss the benefits to sitting in the front.
First of all, you will have no problem hearing your professor. Your attention span will greatly increase and your notes will prove it. You might also have the opportunity to get to know your professor on a personal level. By sitting in the front, your professor might even speak with you about things unrelated to the subject before or after class. Being friendly and personal with the professor very likely will cause your grades to improve.

But sitting in the front also has its cons: Although it is easier for you to hear the material from in the front, hopefully you understand it because you have a higher chance of getting called on. And if you ever run late, it’s super uncomfortable walking all the way up to your seat in the front.

When Considering the Back…

Then there are the seats in the back.
There are a few benefits to sitting in the back as well. If you have a class that is a great distance away following the class, sitting in the back might give you the opportunity to leave a couple minutes earlier, making it easier to get to your next class. The chances of being called on are slim to none from the back. So if this is a subject that you think you will be very uninterested in, or if the professor appears to be a grumpy person, the back is usually more comfortable. And you are less likely to be caught texting behind all of those people, which is always a plus.

But sitting in the back also comes with a price.
People are usually louder in the back, chatting about matters that might even annoy you at times, making it a lot harder to listen to the professor. This might cause you to not get the most out of your lectures, forcing you to instead get the information from those awful, boring textbooks. Your professor will never know who you are if you sit in the back. You are just a number, just adding to the crowd in the back. So any chances of your professor being a little easier grading your essays are out the window.

What’s Comfortable for You

It comes down to how comfortable you feel with the subject. If you are more comfortable getting your information from a textbook and just the basics from the lecture, the back is for you. If you want the extra benefits of your professor knowing who you are and you feel comfortable enough with the risk of being called on, then closer to the front is for you. Choose your academic destiny!

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Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb

Betsy Loeb is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She lacks the ability to draw, so she loves being able to express her creativity instead through her writing. She considers herself the “coolest nerd,” spending many Friday nights indoors playing Guitar Hero and discussing Pokemon cards with her friends.

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