Last year, the upper years warned us to arrive to class early to “fight” for our seats. I arrived to class a half hour early thinking that was enough, but to my surprise all but a few seats in the back of the room had already been claimed. People labeled their chairs and left stuff at their desks to mark their territory, and it got to a point that the dean had to tell us we weren’t allowed to do that anymore. Vet students are type A personalities, right?
Last year I accepted my seat in the second to last row. If I moved and sat in someone else’s seat, I probably would have been banned from all social circles and removed from the good standings of my classmates. Apparently, seating is a huge deal! I often found myself reading what was on the computer screens of my classmates in front of me or listening to the conversations my classmates behind me were having. I often found myself leaving lecture having learned nothing.
This year, the tides turned and everyone wanted to sit in the back for some reason. When I arrived to class a half hour early on the first day, all but the front row was taken, so that’s where I’m sitting now. What a difference it makes! I’ve heard studies say that the closer you sit to the front of the row, the better you should do for grades. Though I don’t have many grades yet, I can tell you that I focus a lot better. Sitting in front of the professor certainly decreases the amount of chatter during class around me. There’s also nobody in front of me besides the professor, so the amount of distraction is cut down infinitely. I find I’m more engaged in what the professor is saying, and I actually leave lecture with at least a take-home message. I’m definitely understanding material better. And as an added bonus, two professors know my name already just from talking with them before class starts. You wouldn’t think seating is a big deal, but in my first three weeks of class it’s already made a huge difference in my learning experience.