When you go to university, you will meet a lot of professors as you go through your courses. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get to know and build a relationship with each of them. This is a great way to make yourself memorable and create a human connection with your instructors. Not only does this help you enjoy class more, but it also offers several benefits as you go through college and get a job. Here’s how to forge a relationship with your professors.
1. Show an Interest
Professors are human beings and that means they are so much more than what you see in the classroom. Try to sit in the front of class so that he or she can see that you’re interested in the material presented in class, but also so that you can ask questions that gives you insight into what your professor is passionate about and what’s important to him or her. Your face will become recognizable, which is the first step to building a relationship with your instructors.
2. Offer Your Opinion
University professors don’t want to stand in front of class and drone on and on to a sea of uninterested students. Offering your own opinion and asking lots of questions gives you the chance to show who you are and to learn more about your instructor. Even if your opinion differs from the norm or is not the one held by your professor, sharing what you think and believe is an important part of creating a good relationship.
3. Visit Office Hours
Class time isn’t the only opportunity to talk with your professor. Visit his or her office hours to continue a discussion from class or to have a conversation about a topic related to your coursework. Your instructors will enjoy spending more time with you and you’ll get some extra info that will serve you well in class. If you can’t make it office hours, consider emailing with questions or comments.
4. Volunteer for Tasks
In some classes, your professor may divide up tasks among the class or ask that a few students carry out a specific duty. Stick your hand up right away and volunteer and you’ve just started building a positive relationship with your professor. Not only could get a break when it comes to grading, but you’ll have plenty of chances to get to know each other a little more.
5. Attend Department Activities
Whether your major is music or psychology, there are bound to be department events that you can attend. This gives you a great chance to mingle with your professor and others in the department. You’ll make yourself visible and memorable and will have the opportunity to share yourself with your professor and learn more about him or her at the same time. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy yourself, which is a great extra benefit.
6. Get Good Grades
Even if you’re a really nice person, your professor is probably going to be more inclined to form a relationship with you if you get good grades and prove that you’re serious about the course. If you are struggling with the material, get extra help. This proves that you are willing to put in the time and effort, something that will endear you to all of your instructors.
7. Talk About Your Professional Goals
Most professors are happy to help you use your classwork, combined with their professional influence, to help you reach your academic and work goals. You’re going to university with the aim of starting a career someday, so asking your professors for advice and sharing what you want to do is a great basis for a relationship. You might even ask for a letter of recommendation once the course is complete.
8. Stay in Touch
When class is over, it’s pretty easy to move and end the relationship, but that’s not a good idea. Staying in touch gives you a valuable mentor in your chosen field and gives you an in for certain jobs or graduate school positions. You don’t have to spend hours together, but drop by once in a while to catch up or stay in touch via email as often as possible. It only takes a few minutes and is totally worth it.
There are bound to be a few professors here and there who aren’t interested in a relationship with students, but the vast majority of them will be happy to partner with you in your education and give you some assistance and resources during your time at university. The first day of class is the perfect time to open things up, so be sure to sit in the front and introduce yourself. You’ll be so glad you did.