They’re weird, crabby and awkward. They’re not like us. They’re our professors.
As students, we often write our professors off and speak to them as little as possible, in hopes that they will just let us go in peace.
Three years ago, I stepped into one of my freshman classes for the first time and had judgmental thoughts about one of my professors. He was incredibly smart, socially awkward, sweaty and kind of weird. He laughed at his own jokes, refused to look me in the eye and was constantly dabbing his sweat.
Later in the semester I was struggling with the material and went to his office hours. His office was an exact reflection of his personality. It was a disaster: papers, books and Starbucks cups everywhere.
An hour later, I walked out of the Ashe building with a smile spread across my face. My professor was much more relaxed than he was in class, had an awesome sarcastic sense of humor and really helped me out. Of course he was still slightly awkward, but let’s face it, we all are.
After meeting with him that first time, we developed a relationship. Two years later, he wrote me a letter of recommendation.
Had I not had this experience, I doubt I would have initiated the relationships that I have with multiple professors today. We think that professors could never relate to us, but they do. I have seen one of my professors out in South Beach, which I initially thought would be extremely awkward, but it was surprisingly pleasant.
Most professors want to be there for us. For the most part, they’re stuck talking to students all day who don’t want to be there. Be the student who stands out in their mind.
Not only are they great resources for paper advice, recommendation letters and internships, but they are also funny, give great advice and can even connect you with a future employer.
Nicole Spiteri is a senior majoring in English literature.