By arriving to class early, you gift yourself the opportunity to get to know the professor. Odds are, you will probably be one of the only people, if not the only person, in the room when the professor arrives. This is huge; It allows the professor to associate your name with your face, and it will show your efforts in the class are not limited to the confinements of class assignments. Further, you may experience some, if not all, of the following:
- You will get to know the professor personally. At the beginning of the term, ensure that you introduce yourself and bring forward some light topics for conversation. Eventually, this will lead you both down the path of actually getting to know each other. I can say from firsthand experience that almost all of my professors turned out to be really great people, and I still keep in contact with them from previous years.
- Once you know each other, subjective grading may slightly go in your favor. If a short answer on one of your exams is perhaps on the border of correct or incorrect, having an established relationship with the professor may help you out—maybe you’ll get the benefit of the doubt over someone to whom the professor has never spoken. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but it doesn’t hurt.
- You may later ask the professor for a letter of recommendation. For detailed information on this subject, visit our Letters of Recommendation page. For now, just know that the best letter of recommendation come from individuals who know you as a well-rounded individual, not just as a name at the top of an assignment.
The list goes on and on, and you get the point. This is a win/win situation. Sacrifice the extra 10 minutes out of your day, and arrive to class early. One of the most important factors in your future endeavors will be your GPA, and arriving to class early may give you the extra edge necessary to help fortify your dedication. Please reach out with any questions or any suggestions that you believe can help other students.