Advice on meeting with your professors

student waving at professor through a Zoom call

The person at the front of the classroom or leading the Zoom chat is a lot less intimidating than you may think. That’s right — your professors, TAs and faculty members are all here to support you, teach you and help you be successful. Check out the advice current students like you have for meeting and interacting with the grade-givers themselves. 

1. "Introduce yourself to your professor at the beginning of the semester, and don't be afraid to ask them for help with things so you stay on track. This tactic will also help them remember you if you ever need a letter of recommendation or reference."

2. "Go to your professor’s office hours if you enjoy their class. Most of the time, no one goes to office hours. By dropping by, even if you don't have any specific questions, it will always make your professor remember you better. You'll get more opportunities with a professor you can go to whenever you need help."

3. "Make sure to talk to teachers and TAs in their office hours. The importance of working with and making connections with your teachers cannot be understated, and can help you in your career and later on in academics." 

4. "Talk to your teachers! If you suffer in silence, your grades are going to show it. Your teachers want to help you and they might give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to your grades."

5. "College is different from high school in the way that you have to advocate for yourself. Professors aren't going to notice you are struggling — you have to tell them and seek help. No one is going to care about your success more than yourself, so don't be afraid to admit you need more support." 

6. "Most of your professors will want to help you, so ask them questions, send them emails, have them check your papers BEFORE they are due, go to office hours … Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it shows that you value what others have to offer."

7. "If you're behind and overwhelmed by assignments, remember to reach out to your professors. They're people too and will often be willing to help, or at the very least offer you advice."

8. "Utilize your professors and build a relationship with them. This can help you if you have questions about assignments or need help preparing for the "real world.'"

9. "One of my favorite professors told me about how to get into the "work-life rhythm." It was really helpful. Basically, get yourself in a routine of thinking positively, getting even 10 minutes of exercise daily, set specific times for schoolwork during the day, and then reward yourself with the fun and social life stuff. Just don't overthink it, learn self-discipline and have as much fun as you can."

10. "Make the time to connect with your professors and TAs for your courses. Their assistance on assignments, insights into whatever challenges you, and tips about assessments can make a world of difference! They are also valuable resources for future letters of recommendation, research opportunities, or even jobs and networking."

Here’s what we want you to take away from this advice: There are a lot of pros to reaching out to your professors. Introduce yourself as early as possible, and remember that your professors are people too. They’re here to help you succeed in their class and in college so ask for help, and take their advice to heart. 

We’re sharing more advice on topics like time managementmaking friends in college and finding ways to practice self-care to help you have your best college experience.

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