How To Build Relationships With Your Professors
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How To Build Relationships With Your Professors

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How To Build Relationships With Your Professors

Wittenberg is known for its accessible professors, but are students really taking advantage of that? Many students at big universities might not get the chance to build relationships with their professors because there are so many other students in their class. But, it is really important to make connections -- strong connections -- with your professors, so if you have the chance, don't miss out on it.

How do you build these relationships though?

On the first day of class, introduce yourself!

Even though the class sizes are small, some professors won't be good at remembering your name. Make it easier on them by introducing yourself before leaving that first day. When you do this, they can easily put a face to the name they see on their class roster, and you might stand out because of your cute and classy first-day-of-classes outfit! Don't get caught in a class where, after a whole semester, the professor still calls you Brooke when clearly your name is Carly and has been your whole life.

Take advantage of their office hours.

Chances are, you're going to struggle. College is not easy and taking a ton of AP courses throughout high school will not prepare you in the slightest bit, no matter how many times your high school teachers try to tell you. With that said, your best chance to get help or understanding is to go to your professor. Yes, you can most definitely go to your friends for help, but I bet that they will be just as confused as you. Professors have office hours for a reason. They would rather you be vulnerable and ask for help instead of failing their course. Professors even do it because they want to, not because they have to!

Say hi to them when you see them outside of class.

Most professors I know are always in a hurry. If it's not rushing to their next class or meetings, they're managing to finish grading everything before the deadline hits. Be friendly and go out of your way to make them feel like they are doing something right. If you always say hi to them, they will begin to remember you, which will help in the long run because you have made a lasting impression. Trust me, they appreciate this more than you know.

Participate in class.

This shows them not only that you are responsible because you are knowledgeable on the topic being discussed, but that you care about your education. On the other hand, if you are struggling to fully comprehend the topic discussed, but you are making an effort to learn or try to understand, they are more likely to do what they can to give you a passing grade. This is so important in college. Professors really don't like hearing their own voice that much.

Talk to them about life outside of academics.

Yes, they want to know what type of student you are, but most importantly, they want to know what kind of person you are. Do not feel inferior to them. They want nothing more than to build these relationships with you. So when you see them, feel free to talk about literally anything from college life, to family life, to student organizations. Trust me, they want to know what makes you, you!

Building relationships with your professors can be really beneficial. At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was struggling with some things. None of my friends noticed because I was really good at hiding it, but when it came to the classroom, I was all over the place. My advisor (and Spanish professor) pulled me aside after class and asked what was wrong. I didn't even have to tell her something was wrong -- she knew. I broke down in tears immediately because I was so overjoyed at the compassion she showed me. She wanted to know everything that was bothering me and advised me on how to fix it. She wanted to make sure that I was okay, even though she was going to be late to her meeting.

The point in that anecdote is that, without doing the above steps, my professor wouldn't have known I wasn't being myself. So make a connection. It will last a lifetime and it doesn't hurt to have someone to write you awesome recommendation letters in the future.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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