Getting Your Professor’s Help

You’ve had a few lectures now and are quickly realizing that you have no idea what is going on. You hang your head over your books and frantically try to make sense out of the gibberish before you but you can’t. Panic starts and you are afraid that you just might fail this class. Please, don’t let this downward spiral go any further. The second you start feeling like this, get yourself to your professor, pronto.

Don’t Fear Your Professor

First off, don’t be afraid to ask you professor for help. She might seem inaccessible as she stands in the front of the room and talks what you think is nonsense. It might seem that she has little time as you glance around to see just how many students she really has and how she plows through the material at the speed of light. However, she does have these magical things called office hours. That is her time to be there for you. Do not text or email. Have real human interaction with your professor and meet her face-to-face to ask for her help.

Don’t Delay

The more quickly you get to your professor to ask for help, the easier it will be for both of you to solve the problem. That and the pace of college lectures are fast. Falling behind happens quickly; therefore it needs decisive action on your part to fix it.

Be Specific

Don’t go to your professor in an emotional knot and cry out in despair, “I am totally lost!” Pull yourself together before the office visit. You need to be calm and rational when asking for help. You need to be specific. Tell the professor exactly where you started getting lost. This will give her an idea of where the hole in your understand lies. A quick detailed explanation on her side might just be the small adjustment you need to get the bigger picture.

Stop Before You Go the Wrong Way

At college, you are expected to take on an assignment and run with it. You are given less guidance than you were in high school. This can be a big adjustment at the beginning. As you start working on an assignment and fear that you might be working in the wrong direction, ask your professor for help. After class tell her your concern. Then ask if she would prefer to receive what you have worked on so far via email so that she can review it before you meet, or if you should just stop by. Then immediately schedule a meeting time with her and stick to it.
Unsure About Test Expectations

As a test comes up and you review the material, you might be wondering what the heck the professor will throw at you. This lack of confidence alone can earn you a lower grade because you might second guess yourself too much. To ask the professor for help, put a lot of work into organizing your notes, and then ask her to review them to see if you missed any major points.

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