By Abigail Reinhardt ’21
Many of us will have one professor we always look forward to learning from, and get excited when we see their name beside a class listing. At the same time, most of us are familiar with the feeling of trepidation as we walk into a class with a new professor. We don’t know who they are, how they teach or what kind of PowerPoint slide layouts they use – and let’s be honest, that’s pretty important! Whether it’s a friendly, familiar face or a new name you’re learning, there are several things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your relationships with your professors. After all, they’re an asset for you to use!
This may seem like a big “duh,” but you’d be surprised how few students take the time to talk to their professors at the start of the semester. Sure, they have your name from a class roster, but many professors enjoy getting to know you and your background. Bring up where you’re from, what interests you and what experiences you’ve had in other classes. Don’t be afraid to ask your professor similar questions!
Engage in Class
This may not seem like a big deal, but professors work hard teach the material. They appreciate knowing you’re working hard on your end, too! Ask questions, pay attention in class and try to show your interest. In addition, try hard to be on time and not fall asleep in class. Those 8 a.m. classes feel exhausting but remember the professor has to show up at the same time!
Reach out and Use Office Hours
All professors hold open office hours when they are available for appointments. If you have a question about an assignment, don’t understand a concept or just want feedback on a grade, go talk to them! This is an underutilized asset that can make a big difference. Professors are always willing to help you understand, because they want you to succeed! Don’t let the reason you got a poor grade on an exam be that you just didn’t understand the material. Professors are literally here to educate students, and they make time specifically to be available to help you!
About the Author
Hey there! My name is Abigail Reinhardt ’21. I’m from Murray, Kentucky, and I’m majoring in communication studies and minoring in exercise science. If you see me around campus, you’ll probably notice I laugh a lot, and I’m almost always talking about my German Shepherds. In my free time, I like to watch Friends and shop online (even though I probably won’t buy anything).