Let’s face it, college isn’t high school. You are operating by and within an entirely new set of rules and circumstances–the biggest of which are likely the class sizes, curriculum, and professors. Depending on what school you are going to, you could encounter class sizes on the smaller side (anywhere from 5-20 students) or the larger side (anywhere between 100 and 300 students). But no matter what school you are going to, you will encounter knowledgeable professors with challenging curriculums, and it is going to take some effort to get them to notice you. Here, then, are five tips to help you win over your professors in college.
1. Arrive to Class Early
Arriving to class a little earlier than necessary allows you time to find optimal seating (if you’re thinking tactically, this would be close to where the professor will be standing), as well as greet your professor when they arrive, maybe even making a little small talk with them. However, if you are unable to arrive early that is usually no problem as long as you do not arrive late. Arriving to class late, especially on a consistent basis, is a great way to irritate your professor and counterintuitive your goal here.
2. Speak Up
If you have something to add to the discussion, go ahead and raise your hand. Do not be afraid or anxious in regards to speaking your mind in class, this is precisely the type of behavior your professors want to see (and what they get paid for). Additionally, asking thoughtful follow-up questions is a great way to demonstrate that you are thinking critically about the material.
3. Visit Your Professor During Office Hours
Office hours are there for a reason. Whether you go to UC Davis or NYU, whether you’re seeking a humanities degree or a cyber security masters degree, your professors are there to answer your questions and discuss any concerns you may have. When you stop by their office, make sure you have a reasonable plan of action in mind, this will communicate that you realize their time is valuable, and they will certainly appreciate the consideration. Speaking of extra consideration when it comes to how to handle college professors...
4. Always Proofread Your Work
Consistently turning in sloppy, unstructured, typo-ridden work is an excellent way to get on your professor’s nerves–and trust me, if you do this you most certainly will. The best way to assure that you do this as little as possible is to always be proofreading your work and doing your best to keep your standards high to assure that the work you are turning in is of outstanding quality.
5. Do the Readings
Not slacking off and coming to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings will not only impress your professor, it will help you make the most out of your education. Isn’t that you decided to go to school in the first place?