Many of us run on the instinct that we can fend for ourselves in all circumstances. This is especially true during our college careers, because as you make your way through the academic world, youre unraveling your own capabilities at a staggering speed, and the high of self-sufficiency reaches its peak. But when it comes to your professors, don't hesitate to befriend them on a personal level, if you get the chance. Ask those questions, submit your ideas, and remember, theyre there not just to assist the group learning process, but to provide the answers and advice you need to make your college education as rewarding as it can possibly be.
Depending on the size of your school and classes, professors have varying degrees of accessibility. For the major universities with classes in the hundreds, its obviously more challenging to reserve personal time. That said, even these massive schools have online access, teachers aides, and other avenues by which you can discuss matters with your professor. Almost all teachers will have posted office hours these are the times when their office doors are open, and anyone is welcome to come discuss the curriculum. Some, however, require an appointment, so make sure you follow the proper channels, but by all means, if you have a question you think they can answer, pipe up. Its the unanswered questions that render poor grades on papers and tests; don't wait until the last minute to realize you could have achieved so much more if only youd sought out your answers.
There are many reasons students keep quiet and carry on their business, tucking away their questions and often seeking answers elsewhere. While there is more than one resource to unravel the answer to any question, if your issue pertains to a specific college course, there is no one more qualified than your professor to provide an answer. Google, fellow students, and other research materials may have the factual information you seek, but in many cases, professors have specific requests by which data is relayed, compiled, and analyzed. Its imperative that youre clear on what your teacher expects in all aspects from test taking to essays to class conduct.
If youre shy, don't feel forced to belt out your issue in a classroom setting. Some questions arent for public consumption, and thats just fine. But don't let your apprehension prevent you from asking the question at all chances are, your professor has heard your question before anyway. And if an in-person session just doesnt seem feasible, most professors also offer email address for student access. Realize that you might not get as fast a response with this method, but its certainly an option. Catch the teacher after class for a quick lowdown, or schedule the aforementioned appointment. Just don't internalize your issue and toss it aside. You can bet that the matters you don't find an answer to are the ones that will show up on the exam. Fear not, you wont be judged for having questions, but you wont be able to backtrack if this is the reason for poor performance. You know the phrase speak now, or forever accept your less than stellar grades.
You don't have to prove your self-reliance by holding in perfectly normal questions and inquisitions. Ask ask ask. Your professor is there to help ensure your college career is a smashing success, but he or she cant do it alone, nor can they read your minds. Whether its a syllabus issue, problems with the reading material, course questions, or just general academic advice, theyll be happy to share. If you don't learn to voice your confusions, you wont ever fulfill your potential. Start early, and take advantage of the people who are there to assist. Its true what they say there is no such thing as a stupid question. Except the one that remains unasked.