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For the select kids who are invited to the Honors program at Coastal Carolina University, there are many advantages. Among them: free laptops  and honors-only housing.  There is however, one thing that not everyone appreciates: Honors Seminar.  This class replaces the First Year Experience course, and does not consist of the same curriculum, especially after considering which teacher you’re assigned.  Here are a few tips to get you started in the course and keep your grade in the class high all semester long.

1. Attend Class

While this may seem obvious (and something you should do to excel in any class), Honors is a course in which attendance is taken seriously.  Eight absences can merit an entire letter grade to be taken away for the semester.  Any more than the eight absences, and your teacher can even choose to fail you for the class.  Keeping your attendance up can be very hard because it is often scheduled early in the morning. And it also doesn’t help that the subject matter isn’t the most riveting. But it is still very important, whether you want it to be or not.

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2. Work Ahead

Many people swear by this method because it has been tried and proven.  Since you also have to take other honors level courses during the same semester as the honors seminar class, working ahead is one of the best ways to make sure you can have all of your assignments done on time.  Also, many teachers are happy to look over assignments before they are due to give you pointers on what to fix before a final submission.

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3. Make Friends In Class

This tip is for all of the shy students out there who just like to sit in class and wait for it to be over.  While this is the easy way out, it does no good in the long run.  When you miss a class or need help on an assignment, having a friend in your class can help a lot, because they have exactly the same information you do and they have the same requirements you do – so they know how to help.  Plus, if a group project rolls around, you already have someone you can rely on.  They are all fellow honors students, so they are likely to be on-top of their assignments and ready to help, possibly in other classes as well.

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4. Participate Often

This one is important for everyone who needs a grade boost.  If your grade in the class is on the verge of a higher letter grade but not quite there, a high participation grade at the end of the semester can make the difference you need.  These few points a day are easily awarded by answering a professor’s question or participating in small group activities.  The TA often keeps track of the number of times you participate per class as well, which means you can have a lot to say on one day, and have yourself covered if you don’t have much to say during the next class.  Since it is an honors class, you need at least a B for the class to count, which makes this very helpful when the end of the semester rolls around.

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5. Be Kind to Your Professor

Even if you aren’t overly fond of your professor, it is important to show that you know they are human too.  If there is an issue with a grade, a problem with an online assignment, or if they showed up late to class (which can happen!), they are always open to having a conversation with you to come up with a solution.  By treating them well, they are more likely to meet you in the middle, and can give extensions and recommendations. Don’t forget that a recommendation from an honors instructor looks very good to whoever is receiving it.

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Since Honors Seminar is a required class for all honors students, you can take on the class however you think is best.  The level to which you need each of these skills depends upon the professor you get and how difficult they make the class.  Nonetheless, all 5 tips are important for anyone to take the class seriously and do their best!


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Riley Hobbs


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