One of the most common things we are told when we enter college is to make connections. Without them, we could lack diversity in our references for jobs after college. This should mean that students are more than willing to make sure that they get to know their professors and look to them for help and not avoid it.
Unfortunately, many students don’t take advantage of the time they have to go to their offices or even just talk to them after class. It is most likely because they are intimated by them.
When I started college, I was too scared to try and get to know my professors in my major. This changed once I switched to another major. I liked the professors from my previous major, but it was hard to go talk to them when I wasn’t really interested in the subject, they knew so well.
After switching majors, I was still intimidated by my professors. A large amount of them had their doctorates and knew so much about what we were talking about in class. It was scary to participate because I didn’t want to sound like I didn’t know what I was talking about.
This all changed once I went to one of them for help on paper that was confusing me. That professor helped me through it. From the experience, I learned that the professors actually enjoy talking to students.
While their vast knowledge can be intimidating, they understand your struggles because they were in your shoes once.
The went through all these years of school and know how stressful it can be. Along with that, professors also have those days where they don’t feel like doing anything, just like their students. They have lives and they understand when problems arise with your coursework and how fast you can get it done.
Professors can be some of the nicest people you meet, and they can help you with your future. So much of their lives are centered around teaching. If they didn’t want to talk to you and get to know you, they wouldn’t have become a teacher.
Many professors I’ve had say that it makes them sad that the students don’t come to talk to them, especially when some of the problems that arise in their assignments could be fixed easily. They also have said that they enjoy just talking to them.
Professors give you connections that you wouldn’t have had if you never bothered to get to know them. Many professors have succeeded in their field and they know of opportunities that arise within it. If you talk to them and make a connection, they might even be able to get you those opportunities.
While they might seem intimidating as well because of knowledge, the professors aren’t judgmental if you don’t know what exactly they mean. If you don’t understand something, just ask them to clarify.
The biggest part of learning that the professors have come to care about is if you are involved. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you sound smart enough, they are happy that you would participate in the first place. That’s why participation is such a huge part of most professors’ grades.
Professors are there to be your teachers and your support throughout college. While students might think they are intimidating, they aren’t as intimidating as one would expect. They are people too. Yes, they are in a higher position than you as a student, but they should not be seen as intimidating.
By taking that first step and acknowledging this, students open themselves up to a vast array of opportunities that wouldn’t have been there before.
So, are professors really that intimidating?
No, in fact, they are only intimidating if you keep telling yourself they are.