Trying to talk to your professors for the first time can seem like trying to approach the Queen of England. I would be lying if I said it won’t be intimidating. But, building a relationship with those who teach your classes can really benefit you in the long-term.

Here are some tips for building a good relationship with your professors:

1. Don’t suck up to them. Most professors don’t like that. Obviously, this is going to be something you’ll have to assess with each professor, but it’s not really the way to go. Despite your good intentions, this will probably just end up annoying your professors.

2. Attend their classes. The best way to anger a professor is not to respect their time. Show up on time, and go to class.

3. Look alive. Professors will be more likely to enjoy your presence if you’re an active participant. For some people, speaking in class isn’t comfortable. That’s fine. In small classes, though, try slipping in just one comment that shows you actually did the readings. For bigger classes, seek the professor out when fewer students are around.

4. Pay attention to your body language. During class, you don’t want to be that kis slumped over and asleep. Sit up, look at the board or screen, and follow along. If active participation isn’t possible (and isn’t something the teacher grades on), show that you’re actually paying attention with your body language.

These tips will show your professor that you actually care. That you want to be there. That you want to learn. If they know this, they’re so much more likely to help you out when you really need it.

  • Summer 2017 reporter. I am a junior studying magazine writing.

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