Everyone who is a college student will tell you that building a bond with your professor is one of the most important things to do aside from making friends and studying to get good grades. It's true when they say that a good relationship with your professor can lead to special perks that may not be available to everyone. Here's how to create that bond and get on your professor's good side.
1. Introduce yourself formally.
In college, it's not unusual to be in a lecture-style class of 300 students. In a class where there are so many students, it's impossible for the professor to get to know everyone. Set yourself apart from all the students by walking up to your professor at the beginning or the end of class and introducing yourself formally. You'll leave a super strong impression on your professor that may help you in the long run.
2. Go to office hours.
While in class, it can be difficult to find opportunities to interact with your professor (unless you try to answer every question that's asked during lecture). Going to your professor's office hours, even if it's just to make small talk, will definitely make your professor happy. Most students rarely go to office hours so often times, professors just end up lounging around and waiting for anyone to come. Making little visits will really strike that bond.
3. Ask questions.
Asking questions during class (or during office hours) shows that you're genuinely interested in the topic being taught in class and that you've been paying close attention to lectures. This is a great way to win extra points.
4. Perform well in class.
Pay attention, study and get good grades. This may be easier said than done, but consistently getting good grades in class will catch the attention of your professor and he/she will undoubtedly remember your name that's written on the exam paper.
5. Ask about research.
Most professors have or currently are working on research projects. Professors love to talk about their passions but they usually don't meet students who are willing to engage in that conversation. Ask your professor what he/she has been up to outside of class! This will really get the conversation going.
6. Volunteer first.
Got a volunteer opportunity coming up in class? Got a presentation? Be the first one to raise your hand and volunteer to step up to the plate. A lot of the times, professors are actually scared that they won't be able to engage their students. Taking the lead and preventing awkward silences in class will get you much appreciation from your professor.
7. Show up to class.
If you're in a smaller class, this is especially important. Showing up to class is probably the least thing you can do and it's also the easiest — especially since you should be doing this regardless anyway. Showing up to class everyday (perhaps even a couple minutes early) will give off the impression that you're ready to learn and that you genuinely enjoy the class.
8. Email your professor.
Have to miss class next week? Give your professor a heads-up that you won't be able to attend (even if it's a 300 student lecture class). This will show that you care about being in class. Be sure to sound professional as well.
Professors are human, too. They want to get to know their students and they want to build bonds. Next time you see your professor, be sure to flash that smile of yours and greet them with a friendly hello. They'll appreciate it — guaranteed.
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