In high school, the idea of spending additional time with your teachers may be weird, but in college professors have office hours to encourage you to meet with them outside of class. I’ve gotten to know a lot of professors since I’ve been here at CU-Boulder and it’s been worth it.
Let’s start with why it’s a good idea to get to know your professors. Professors are teaching you for a reason: they’re really smart. CU-Boulder attracts a lot of amazing professors because we’re a research institution. Whether or not you need additional help in their classes, they want to help you learn as much as possible. I like to go in to office hours when we learn a topic that was particularly interesting to me and discuss it. This not only makes you stand out in the class, but also you get to learn a lot in the process.
Getting to know professors has also given me opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I’ve been offered research opportunities and been invited to really cool events as a result of getting to know my professors. They often get access to a lot of opportunities, and are looking for a student to give them to.
Also, professors tend to be really cool people who can tell you their stories. I’ve had professors who were graduates from top universities around the world, professors who have done really amazing research, and professors who are just generally really cool people. Talking to professors gives them an opportunity to get to know you outside of class and see that you’re proactive in your education.
Now let’s think about how to do this. Like I mentioned before, definitely go into office hours towards the beginning of the semester (not just during exam times when everyone else is there). Another way I reach out to professors is through sending them interesting and relevant information I see pertaining to their class when I’m outside of it. That may seem tedious, but it’s definitely pretty easy. If you’re interested in your class, you’re bound to naturally find articles and videos about it. Also, of course, participate in class and turn in your work. Professors want to get to know you, so don’t hold back when it comes to getting to know them!