At the University of Waterloo, students may be asked to become note takers in classes for peers who struggle taking notes or making it to class. Note takers upload handwritten or typed notes to Accessibility Services. Why should YOU be the one to sign up as a note taker? There are many reasons why you should get involved!
1. Lend a helping hand
When you sign up to be a note taker for your classes, you’re assisting someone who otherwise would be at a disadvantage. Reading notes taken in class can contribute better to learning than just slides because the student in need gets more context. Your good deed of making notes will afford them the opportunity to more resources to study from and do well! You are contributing to the development of a brilliant mind and their impact on society in the future!
2. Encourages you to attend classes
Note takers are generally persons who attend classes regularly. Last semester, when I signed up to be a note taker, I only missed one day of classes when I was very sick. But when I felt drained and I didn’t want to attend class, I knew I had a responsibility to someone else who was depending on me. Knowing that I was valued by that person, who didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, made me pull myself together and attend class. I couldn’t let them down.
3. Reminds you that you are good
Not only do you feel better since you are attending most of your classes, but being a note taker can improve your mental health. Every time you check off a box when you’ve submitted notes, you feel a sense of duty and relief that you did it! One week, one lecture at a time.
4. Helps you learn
Chances are, you’re going to upload your notes at some other time later in the day or week. In my case, I handwrite my notes so I have to scan or type them to upload them. As I scan them, I reread the notes, or sometimes skim, to ensure that all the pages are legible. Doing this refreshes my memory of what I did during the week, which makes it easier to remember when I am studying.
Also, knowing someone else needs to understand what I write, encourages me to not just write word-for-word, but make good notes. The goal is to make notes that someone would understand, and thus the notetaker gains good note taking skills.
5. Reminds others that there’s good in the world
University life can be difficult, and students can tend to retreat to be on their own. Even though the person you’re taking notes for may not know you, knowing that you exist, that you have their back is reassuring.
Remember to be good to others, and be good to yourself.