By ELANA GOODWIN, Ohio State University Graduate and Uloop writer
In college, if you really want to get the most out of your classes and time as an undergrad, college professors are the people you’ll want to impress.
If you make a good impression on your professors, they’ll be that much more likely to write you a glowing letter of recommendation in the future and actually be able to write things about you that are true since they’ll be able to pick you out of a crowd.
Here are six ideas to consider implementing — some needing more effort, some not — in order to impress your professor.
1. Be early. As the saying goes, “If you’re not five minutes early, you’re 10 minutes late.” When it comes to class, it’s a good idea, if possible, to get to class early so you can sit wherever you want, get your laptop or notebook ready to take notes, and have a few minutes to breathe before the class starts.
You’ll be that much more focused, centered, and able to jump right in if you’re not still scrambling to get your stuff out and find a pen or pencil. That being said, if you can’t be early, at least be on time — it’s annoying for professors to have students come in late, especially when the class size is small, as it disrupts their lecture, other students, and the whole classroom environment.
Simply showing up early or on time is an easy way to start impressing your professor.
2. Do the reading. Yes, sometimes the reading may be boring, but if you’re committing to the course, put in the work. You’ll get more out of the experience and teach yourself discipline. Additionally, by doing the reading, you’ll be able to participate in discussions and actually have something worthwhile or at least new to contribute as you’re not just piggybacking on someone else’s thought since you don’t have anything original to say.
Showing up to class having read the assigned material will impress your professor, and he or she will be able to tell you did the reading since you’ll be more likely to participate.
3. Participate. Sometimes, especially in morning classes, a professor will have difficulty getting any students to engage in discussion or answer a question. Don’t be one of those people who avoids eye contact with the professor so they’re not called on and pray they won’t be asked to read or say something.
Impress your professor by being engaged and interested in the class and willing to be a part of discussion. You don’t need to raise your hand to answer every question or comment on each passage being read, but you should aim to talk at least a few times every class and contribute something substantial.
4. Ask questions. Besides participating in discussion, don’t be afraid to ask questions during class since it shows you’re really listening and want to know more or consider another possibility. When guidelines to a paper or project are handed out and you have a question about it, ask for clarification during the class since other students may also be wondering the same thing.
If it’s a question that really pertains more to just your paper or something in particular that’s not relevant to the class or other students, wait until after class to approach the professor with your question or make arrangements to visit them during their office hours.
5. Attend office hours. Many professors include information about their office hours in the syllabus they hand out at the beginning of the semester and will remind students in class about their availability — yet, rarely are they visited during their office hours.
Going to office hours and getting to know your professor and letting him or her get to know you shows maturity and your commitment to your education, which will impress your professor. Additionally, the professor will be much more open to answering questions you have before a test or about a project since they’ll know you better and believe you’ve been putting in time and effort to master the material throughout the semester.
6. Go above and beyond. Don’t just be content to be a face among many in your class. Instead, on the first day of class for the semester, go up to the professor and introduce yourself and tell him or her why you’re taking the class or what you’re most looking forward to learning.
If you don’t catch them on the first day, impress the professor by reading the syllabus carefully and asking something specific after the second class to show you actually read through the whole syllabus and are taking the class seriously.
There are lots of different ways to impress your professor without coming off as a teacher’s pet. You should try to impress your professors as they’ll be valuable assets to have in your corner later in life and when it comes to needing references and recommendations.
From uloop.com, Online Marketplace for College Life