I hope everything is going as well as it can be! Today I am going to be talking to you about talking to your professors and being nice to them.
Now, hopefully, that latter part is just a given, but I think that this is super-important to talk about, especially since it is so different than talking to professors in high school. For example, in high school, I never really truly went out of my way to talk to my teachers unless I was having trouble understanding a concept in the class, or they had something to tell me. I’m willing to bet that besides one or two of your favorite teachers, most of you have a similar relationship with your teachers too.
In college, everything changes. Yes, you still go to your professors when you have trouble in a class, but it’s also super important to go and visit them during office hours or even just having a conversation with them every once and a while. I know you’ve probably already heard that you need to “talk with your professors” over and over again, but upon reflection, it’s the most clichéd piece of advice I heard when I was a senior in high school regarding college that holds true to this day.
In terms of building a relationship, it can start with a simple introduction, an email, or even a pop-in during an office hour. There are options and opportunities for everyone to be able to forge a connection with their professors, whether you are more extroverted or introverted. Getting out of your comfort zone with your professors is just as important as getting out of your comfort zone with your peers when you start your college career.
The types of relationships you form with your professors can be vital towards your involvement here and even post-graduation. For example, it’s really easy to get involved with research here, but you have to be willing and brave enough to ask! It’s honestly not scary at all, and professors are so kind and receptive when you show interest in their work and want to work with them. Down the road, if you want to pursue any post-graduate schooling, they make excellent references for letters of recommendation. More than that, my professors here are genuinely awesome. I love talking and interacting with them in and out of class- they’re a joy to be around.
Personally, I’ve been able to TA a psychology class, get involved in research, and been able to hold a position on the executive board of Psi Chi, our honor’s psychology association, all by reaching out to professors or having a conversation with them. None of it would have been possible without those interactions I’ve had with professors, and I’m sure a lot of my fellow classmates can say the same thing regarding their involvement too. It goes a long way for sure.
If you get anything from this, please, please talk to your professors! It’s so worth it, and I promise they will add so much to your college experience.