Joy! My favorite professor knows who I am! She is so awesome! Smart, funny, invested in teaching, passionate about her subject. I'm not gonna lie, I have a bit of a lady crush on her. I haven't been to office hours, and she's never called on me, and I sit the last row, aaaaaalllllll the way to the side of the room (not on purpose, I just got there late on the first day and all the good seats were taken). And she STILL knows who I am. That's how much I talk in class. I saw her on campus yesterday and she waved and said, "Hi." Omigod! It was like seeing a famous person! And realizing the famous person knew who I was!
I spent my undergrad cowering in the shadows, never, ever volunteering an insight or a thought, and now I think what a sad waste. I didn't have any professors to look to for recommendations or resources; it was like I was a ghost on that campus. And now, I really believe that participating in class is one of the best ways to learn. Maybe not raising your hand every two minutes, but actively listening, forming answers in your own mind, taking notes, engaging.
Though, don't be misinformed, there are countless days where I am too shy to look people in the eye. That terrified, little, younger me takes the reigns, and it's hard to wrestle them back from her. In fact I think she may have been in the driver's seat all along during those the first few months of school. But things are shifting. I'm working more on being myself; not for anyone else, not to get people to like me, but because I like that version of myself. And I've heard from others, that they think she's pretty cool too.