Learning to Fly: Speaking up in College The summer after high school graduation, my friends and I were all chaffing under our parent’s rules and longing for the starting bell which would signal the beginning of college and the start of our adult lives. We were all nervous, though no one really said this out loud. I was worried about making new friends and getting good grades but there was one thing I failed to factor into my anticipatory college life: the Participation Factor. Most of my courses took place in large lecture halls with hundreds of anonymous students. My English course was different. The class size was much smaller. The professor knew us all by name. We were expected to participate in class discussions. It was part of our...The end:
.....t what they were saying, comparing it with my own ideas. I felt so exhilarated and proud of myself that I suddenly couldn’t wait until the next class meeting. These days, I am much more comfortable speaking in class. I can see how discussing readings and ideas with the whole class helps me define better my own thoughts. Participating in class, especially for a freshman not used to engaging in intellectual discussions, can be very intimidating. Ultimately, though, I learned through my own experience that participation in class discussions helps build confidence, as well as helping new students develop the thinking processes that will help them throughout college. Personally, I can’t wait for the next time I can contribute something in class.