Freshman year in college will be one of the most challenging years of your life. Although you’re happy to start your adult life and begin working toward a career, the transition from high school to college isn’t an easy one and you might have a difficult time connecting with your teachers. This can happen because many college classes are larger than high school classes.
Developing a good relationship with your teachers can help you benefit the most from your college experience. But as a freshman coming in, you’re dealing with a lot of new faces and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, there are ways to get teachers to notice you.
1. Show Up to Class Early
To be noticed among teachers as a freshman, you’ve got to show up. But don’t walk into class a minute before a lecture starts. Plan better and arrive early, if possible. Your teacher will probably arrive about five minutes before class starts. Arriving around the same time gives you an opportunity to engage in small talk with your teacher. You can talk about class or other casual topics. This also gives your teacher an opportunity to get to know you.
2. Be Responsible
This isn’t high school, so there are no babysitters. If you want to be noticed among teachers as a freshman, demonstrate that you’re responsible. Believe it or not, your teacher will notice adult behavior. Make sure you read the syllabus and turn in assignments on time. Exceeding your teacher’s expectations and good grades are surefire ways to get noticed. Also, if you’re going to miss class for more than one day due to sickness or an emergency, give your teacher a heads up and send an email.
3. Share in Class Discussions
If there’s a lot of students in your class, it can be easy to hide in the background and not participate in discussions. However, this doesn’t help you establish a relationship with your teacher, or get noticed by him. You don’t have to sit in the front row, but at least sit in an area where you’re able to concentrate. Listen, take notes, and share in the discussion by answering questions and asking questions of your own.
4. Take Advantage of Your Teacher's Office Hours
Freshman year is an adjustment period, and if you need any help or assistance, don’t be afraid to ask your teacher. Most college teachers and professors have office hours. Students can set up appointments; however, this isn’t an opportunity to sit around and shoot the breeze with your teacher. If you have a legitimate concern, take the initiative and set an appointment. Maybe you received a low score on your latest paper and you don’t understand why.
5. Participate in Departmental Activities
Some college teachers participate or host freshman events or seminars. To get noticed by your teachers, go the extra mile and attend events involving your teachers. After an event, make a point of speaking with your teacher. Let him know you enjoyed his speech or contribution, and mention you’re one of his students. Also, if one of your teachers leads a campus club, maybe you can join this organization.
Getting noticed among teachers as a freshman can be tricky. However, if you want to be more than a number or a nameless face sitting in the classroom, you have to stop hiding in the background, step outside your comfort zone and get your teacher’s attention.