In a sea of students, it can feel hard to stand out. You want to get a good grade and retain the information that is being taught. But plenty of your peers want the same thing, and so you’re constantly trying to compete with a group of successful students.
So how do you get ahead of your classmates and stand out from the rest?
The key is to be mentored by the staff and faculty of your university. The more intentional you are in asking questions and building relationships with your instructors, the better of a student you will be.
After your class, go up to your instructor and introduce yourself. To make sure that they know who you are, ask if you can set up a meeting with them to talk about the lecture in more detail. Doing this will only solidify your understanding of the material and help you start building a professional relationship with them.
Mark this meeting on your calendar, setting a reminder for yourself to not miss it. If you schedule a meeting, you want to be sure that you’re able to follow through with your plan. Missing a meeting like this can reflect poorly on your intentionality as a student.
Book Office Hours
Every professor has office hours, and students often overlook this opportunity to receive extra help and connect with their teacher. Refer to your class syllabus to see what hours your professor listed as their in-office time.
Once you know when they’re scheduled to be available in their office, block off a period of time in your own calendar to make sure you’re available as well. If you want to receive the help that will help you get ahead, avoid planning other to-dos during that period of time.
Keep a List
Maybe you’ve already taken the first step in agreeing to meet with a professor. But what happens when you walk into their office? Keep a list of questions handy so that you have a foundation on which to base your conversation. It’s even better if you add some research to your questions that inform your point.
Your instructor will appreciate the effort you went through before sitting down with them to get an answer. Having professors that know your thinking process can even open the door for future job opportunities. Your professor will have an easier time recommending you as an employee the better they know you and your understanding of your field of study.