I do a lot of speeches for high school kids. And I've noticed something about audience members. If you sit up, pay attention, give me eye contact, and maybe even write some things down that I'm saying, it sends me a message. It tells me that you're here because you want to be, that you've got your act together and that you're serious about getting in to college. And it tells me that you're expecting something from me. It makes me work even harder to make our time together worth your while. I'll give you more attention. I'm more likely to call on you when you ask a question. I'll feel like you owe you something in return (because I do).
This isn't a post about paying attention to me. It's a post to remind high school kids that how you behave sends a message to the world. If you look and act bored and disengaged, that's how the world is going to perceive you. If you spend most of your time in your high school English class sending the teacher a message that you'd rather be just about anyplace else but there, what do you expect her to do when you ask her to write a letter of recommendation? Or if you miss an "A" by 2% and ask if she can raise your grade? Of if you ask her to read your college essay and help you edit it? What motivation have you given her to go above and beyond for you?
The engaged get more attention, more help, and more effort in return than the disengaged do.