The path to graduating with a degree is a long one requiring hard work and dedication, long hours of studying and collaborative support. Going through college with a strong support network makes the necessary studying and dedication hours much easier. Support can come from friends, family and co-workers, but one of the biggest resources for support through college is your professors.
This resource is often overlooked by students as asking for extra help from a professor can be intimidating. However, creating a rapport with a professor and asking for help is far easier than most students realize.
1. Approach professors
The first step to developing good relations with your professors is simple—approach them. At the beginning of the semester introduce yourself to your professors. Professors tend to have large class sizes and multiple class periods, so it’s often difficult for them to remember every face or name they meet throughout the semester. Going up to and introducing yourself to your professors sets you apart from the crowd and helps your professors better remember you.
2. Participate in class
Be involved in class—ask for clarifications, answer questions posed by professors and be diligent in your assigned work. Show your professors you care about their class. Don’t be afraid to be outspoken and actively participate during class time. Ask how you can do better in class if you are struggling and ask about subject matter you don’t understand. Show your professors your desire to do well in their class. Being active in class and diligent towards assigned work will also help you stand out from other students who don’t participate. If your professor doesn’t have time in class to help you with your questions, ask about office hours and schedule a meeting with them. Taking time out of your week to meet with professors for clarification or advice shows your willingness to improve your academic standing.
3. Be respectful
Be kind and respectful. Say hello to professors at the start of class, say thank you as you leave, ask them how their day is going, inquire about their family and spark up general conversation with them. Talking to them and showing genuine interest towards what they have to say helps more than anything to build a strong rapport.
Having a professor as an acquaintance who can help you is an irreplaceable resource. Professors often help students further exceed in class and college in general, offering tips and advice they might not be able to get from others. Professors also have many connections from experience in their respective disciplines, which means they can help you find jobs and internships in your field. They also may be able to tell you about professional and academic opportunities which are not being advertised publicly. A good rapport with college professors is undeniably helpful and valuable, and it’s not a hard task to achieve. Take the first steps to communicate and participate with your professors today!
Comment below what your favorite ways to get to know your professors have been!
Neha is a Pre-Health Kinesiology major at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. She plans on attending Osteopathic school and becoming an Osteopathic doctor with a specialty in Pediatric medicine. With connections all over the world she hopes to travel and learn international medicine, adding to her experiences, as well as providing service to those across the world.
In her free time, Neha enjoys learning new traits such as: cross stitching, knitting, racing, knife-throwing, flying a plane and cooking. To go along with learning she loves to experience, mostly through travel. She loves what she sees, hears and feels in different places. Just as much as she loves learning she is passionate about teaching. She enjoys helping people understand how to use or do things they never thought they could do. Becoming a Cengage Ambassador is the perfect outlet for her to do what she was born to do, she’s ecstatic to represent the company and be a part of the Cengage Team!