Just showing up won’t get you a passing grade College Life

Hello everyone:

I was talking with some colleagues this morning and they were sharing how students think that merely showing up for class and chatting up the professor is sufficient to get a passing grade in the course.

Folks, that is not correct. Welcome to college. There are some low-performing schools that may have let you get away with that in high school, but if you show up but don’t turn anything in, you won’t make it successfully through the semester.

I was teaching the first day of a public speaking course and a student asked if she could be excused from all of the speeches. In the very least, she wanted to “skip” doing the speeches. Since they accounted for 60% of the grade, I told her that she could not pass the course with only 40% of the work complete. She never came back.

Another gal told me that she “chose not to do the group speech.” It was a speech worth 20% of her grade. As a result of not doing this speech, she also couldn’t do the team review of the way her team worked together on the speech (another 10% of the grade), and she couldn’t get a positive review from her teammates (10% of the grade). That dropped her grade to a 60%, which was a very low “D.” She missed more than one point on her exams, but even a one point loss would move her to a 59%, which is an “F.”

After the semester ended, she sent me a “how dare you flunk me” email (my favorite kind- not!) and berated me for failing her. I explained the math. She never emailed me back.

Folks, show up and do the work. You won’t like the results if you just sit there.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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