ChristmasBy: Nick Hefty

One of the most important parts of your academic career in college is making a good impression on a professor and then continuing to foster a positive relationship with them. Here are some tips that will help you get off on the right foot with your new professors –

Be polite and follow the rules. Raise your hand when you speak in class, especially for the first few weeks until you get a feel for how your professor likes to conduct class. Some professors are very particular about how class discussion is handled, while some professors prefer it to be more conversational. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but make sure you try to answer the question yourself first.

Do the homework and study. Professors do not appreciate late assignments or lack of effort. Doing homework on time and keeping up on your work is a great way to get on your professors good side. Not only will this help them see you in a positive light, it will help your grades as well!

Participate in class. Class is a time to listen, but it is also a time to get involved and talk about things you are learning. An important part of college classes is understanding the material and talking about it in class. By doing this, you show your professor that you are interested in the material and that you understand it. Many classes actually have a participation grade.

Be careful about electronic communication. Email is a great tool to contact a professor outside of class, but it can also get a bit complicated. Always make sure to be professional, appropriate, and use correct spelling and grammar. Start emails with “Hello Professor _____,” or something similar, you’re writing to the person who is going to be giving your final grade not your high school buddy. Emails that start with “Hey” look unprofessional and just send the wrong impression.

Keep a positive attitude. This means no complaining, whining, or eye rolling. Professors, like everyone else, tend to get along better with a positive person. This doesn’t mean you have to always love an assignment or be enthusiastic about a test, but you shouldn’t be vocal in your complaints.

Finally, and most importantly, be yourself. Most professors love learning about their students, don’t be afraid to be yourself.