As the end of the semester approaches, many students find themselves scrambling to raise their grade after a few months of slackin’ off. Others are rooting around in their phone contacts for people to list as references and request letters of rec from. They think, “If only I had a strong working relationship with my professors!” and then spend three hours staring at the wall in an unproductive manner.
Don’t let this happen to you! Whether you’re about to graduate or are just starting your college career, knowing how to garner the favor of your instructors is a valuable skill.
Bribes that aren’t bribes:
The general vibe of college is “tired,” and students aren’t the only ones who are sleep-deprived. Ask your professor what their coffee order is and bring them a cuppa joe on a day of student presentations (which are always Bad and Boring, don’t @ me). They’ll appreciate the caffeine boost to keep them awake while students read off of a PowerPoint slide in the most monotone voices they can muster, and you’ll earn brownie points.
If you don’t speak up during class discussions, the professor will never know how smart and insightful you are. They won’t give two shrimps about helping you out when your grade is 89.96% and you just need half a point to feel like you accomplished something. If someone gives their opinion and you agree with it, say so. If the professor asks a question, answer.
Professors want nothing to do with students who slouch in the back, silently scrolling through their social media; they want to feel like they are reaching their students, and if you speak up, you are validating them as educators and as people. Bonus points if you actually research your opinions before voicing them.
Pay them a visit:
Professors are required to have office hours. Those office hours are long, empty and boring as all Heck if no one comes in. Break up the miserable monotony of your professor’s life by popping in to ask a question, or tell them you liked their lecture earlier, or gossip with them about other students. Office hours are a great time to forge a personal connection with your professor without the judgmental eyes of other students making you sweat with fear.
Laugh at their jokes:
Even if they are bad. A polite chortle goes a long way.
And if you hate each other:
Accept it. Make it a joke. Disagree with them, but don’t get pushy. As long as you are civil with your professor and don’t insult their love of cats and “Harry Potter,” you will find yourself proficient in working with someone you dislike at the end of the semester.
This is useful, because most of your co-workers for the rest of your life are going to be awful, irritating goblins, and there is nothing you can do about it. Unless you win the lottery. Then everyone (including the goblin coworkers at the job you probably quit) will like you because you have a lot of money.