It’s easy to get caught up in everything that annoys us about school, especially during this time of year. But I would like to take some time to thank those who aren’t annoying, those who actually make us feel better about school throughout the stress of finals. This list is not in any specific order because each student gives us something to look forward to, makes classes just a little bit easier and deserve the same amount of appreciation.

  1. The one who brings food and shares Most of us are usually very hungry, especially during class time. So when a fellow student brings their lunch to class, it’s a little annoying. But on a rare occasion, one of those snacking students will actually share their snacks, like popcorn or cookies, and in that moment we bless their souls. They realize that they are hungry and therefore most everyone else is too.
  2. The note takers Students who take notes every day and manage to catch the majority of what teachers say are, let’s face it, amazing – living, breathing “Wikipedias.” And often those who are responsible enough to take good notes are also kind enough to share them with those who don’t catch everything the professor says, or with those who were previously absent. Students like this really take the pressure off of everyone else.
  3. The ones who come to class before the professor and give everyone a rundown of what the readings said Just in case you didn’t have time to read the assignment, and just in case it’s not on “shmoop” or “spark notes.” These students go the extra mile by saving our butts when we can’t save them ourselves. And, even if you did the reading, hearing a summary of the readings in the words of a classmate can make it easier to understand and add confidence to your understandings of its contents.
  4. The students who actually raise their hands It’s been said that students who raise their hands during class discussions have not yet grown accustomed to the ways of college because in these lecture halls you’re supposed to be assertive and talk out of turn.  But when everyone has so much to say, I appreciate the politeness of the gesture, and the willingness to waiting their turn.
  5. Those who start to fall asleep, but try to stay awake You can see how much they want to learn, and given how tired they are it’s obvious how badly they want to soak up what the teacher is saying. These types of students should inspire you to care as much as they do. I know they inspire me.
  6. The class clowns Yes, these students still exist in college. I’ve witnessed them with my own eyes. And I am especially grateful for them during morning classes, especially the ones who can make the professors laugh. They make even the most difficult of classes feel more fun.
  7. The tech savvy students When a professor inevitably has a problem with their computer or the projector, or your laptop is loading too slowly, these heroes come to the rescue.
  8. The ones who are always prepared Even beyond the reading assignments, these students almost always have extra gum, pens, pencils, paper, sometimes even extra copies of books. These students are often life savers.
  9. The one who manages to get good grades without doing any of the work They hardly come to class. Even the professors seem baffled at this witchcraft. But the reason those students are on this list is because they give the rest of us, who actually do the work, but still fear a failing grade, hope. If the absent can pass, then the present should be able to as well. Right?

So, if you’re feeling down this finals season, try to remember that there are positive aspects of the classroom environment. Even if you’re sure you’re going to fail, have a laugh with the class clown and munch on a few shared snacks. It’s all going to be alright.

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