We have the same daily routine: wake up, go to class, take a quiz/test, write a paper, do a little homework, party, sleep, repeat. But aside from our friends, we don’t really talk to anyone else in our classes. Many students don’t realize how important and beneficial it is to get to know a few of your professors.
Now, I don’t like brownnosers ? it never seems as if they are genuine when they try to wheedle their way into things. I have may have been labeled a bit teacher’s pet in high school, but that’s because I knew my teachers and had a strong relationship with them (especially after taking multiple classes they taught and being involved with clubs they sponsored). But the relationships I built with them helped me to figure out what I wanted to do and where to go to college. So who says you can’t have a similar relationship with a few of your college professors?
Making an effort to get to know your professors outside of class can be very helpful to you. They can write recommendation letters for you, become your thesis advisor and may even be a good unbiased third party to go to for advice on questions about the daunting future. They know they are needed for these occasions, so why not make take that extra step to actually talk to them?
I know that sometimes talking to your professors can seem like a scary thing, but never fear? I have compiled a step-by-step list on how to start building a good relationship with your professors. Don’t worry about coming off as fake ? as long as you are genuine, they will know you’re serious.
At the start of the semester, make a point to introduce yourself. Tell them you look forward to their class. If it’s a required class, I wouldn’t recommend saying that unless you genuinely think so. If you chicken out on the first few days of classes, don’t sweat it?you have all semester to find other occasions to talk to them.
This is the prime time to make a connection. Professors are required to have office hours, and though they may be busy they certainly don’t mind a bit company. For your first couple of visits, it’s easier if you go with a specific question for them. Discuss a point made in class, ask for clarification on something, or where to find further information on a subject you found interesting. Utilize the time to look at exams, quizzes, or papers.
If you’re interested in pursuing the same area of study, ask them how they got where they are and their experiences along the way. They will likely ask about you in return?don’t be afraid to open up and share your aspirations.
Keep Going Back:
After the first few times you talk to them, you might reach that awkward stage of “now what do I do?” When you’re still in the class, it’s easy to find excuses to help initiate conversation. If they suggest extra things to read, read them and go back to discuss it with them. After a while, you won’t need to find excuses?just randomly show up, whether it’s to share something, ask advice, etc. By all means continue to see them once and a while after you finish taking their class. If you feel weird about it after a break between semesters, go back to look at your final exam or paper. It will help you work up to going.