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15 Things to Talk to Your Professor About

Having a Few Topics Planned in Advance Can Help the Conversation


Teacher having meeting with student
Blend Images - Hill Street Studios/ Brand X Pictures/ Getty Images

It's no secret: college professors can be intimidating. After all, they're super smart and in charge of your education -- not to mention your grades. That being said, of course, college professors can also be really interesting, really engaging people.

Your professors likely encourage you to come speak with them during office hours. And you may in fact have a question or two you'd like to ask. If you'd like a few additional topics to have on hand for your conversation, consider any of the following 15 things to talk to your professor about:

1. Your current class. If you're currently taking a class with a professor, you can easily talk about the class. What do you like about it? What do you find really interesting and engaging? What do the other students like about it? What recently happened in class that you'd like more information on, that you found helpful, or that was just plain funny?

2. An upcoming class. If your professor is teaching a class next semester or next year that you're interested in, you can easily talk about it. You can ask about the reading load, what kinds of topics will be covered, what expectations the professor has for the class and for students taking the class, and even what the syllabus will look like.

3. A previous class you really enjoyed. There's nothing wrong with talking to a professor about a previous class you took with him or her that you really enjoyed. You can talk about what specifically you found interesting and ask if your professor can suggest other classes or supplemental reading so that you can pursue your interests further.

4. Graduate school options. If you're thinking about graduate school -- even just a tiny bit -- your professors can be great resources for you. They can talk to you about different programs of study, what you're interested in, what graduate schools would be a good match for your interests, and even what life as a graduate student is like.

5. Employment ideas. It could be that you absolutely love botany but have no idea what you can do with a botany degree once you graduate. A professor can be a great person to talk to about your options (in addition to the career center, of course). Additionally, they may know of internships, job opportunities, or professional contacts that can help you along the way.

6. Anything covered in class that you loved. If you recently went over a topic or theory in class that you absolutely loved, mention it to your professor! It will undoubtedly be rewarding for him or her to hear about, and you can find out more about a topic you didn't know you'd love.

7. Anything you're struggling with in class. Your professor can be a great -- if not the best -- resource for getting clarity or more information about something you're struggling with. Additionally, a one-on-one conversation with your professor can provide you with an opportunity to walk through an idea and ask questions in a way that you simply cannot do in a large lecture hall.

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