Talking to professors is worthwhile

Lindsey Chandler

Being that education is consistently a hot topic, I believe it is imperative that we as students and involved members of higher education understand how to make the most out of our academic experiences.

We pour thousands of dollars every semester into our educational pursuits, and most of us fall into a routine of doing our assignments the night before they are due and avoiding textbook readings at all costs.

While we rush from class to class, we are missing out on one of the greatest resources we have: our faculty and staff.

One element to my education I have greatly appreciated and also felt like I didn’t get enough of, includes the communicative relationships I have developed with some of my professors and teachers.

I have learned more about the opportunities presented around the campus by having brief, and sometimes even extended, conversations with my professors.

I have also learned not all professors value a letter grade as the ultimate sign of a learning experience.

Upon reflection of a less-than-satisfying grade last fall, I talked to my professor about what he thought it meant for me. His response was swift and thought-provoking.

He simply asked, “But did you learn something?” I thought for a minute, and realized I had been rambling on about sleep cycles and dopamine in the weeks prior to our meeting. I came to the conclusion that I had indeed absorbed more information than what my grade might have reflected.

Being stuck with one final grade is definitive for many students; any final grade lower than a B usually results in subsequent statements about hating the class or the professor being too harsh.

However, those grades ultimately rest on our shoulders as students.

While we can’t always ask them for the direct answers, faculty and staff members at ASU are interested in seeing their students succeed using all possible tools, and they are more than happy to provide that information for us.

One incredibly beneficial aspect of a communicative relationship between teacher and student is the fact that a student can discuss his or her academic standing in a particular course and ask the teacher how he or she would evaluate performance.

It is unfortunate that we as students take this opportunity for granted. If we were to take a few minutes to talk to our professors, I am sure they would have more to tell us than what we could ever learn in any lecture.

When teachers and professors say to us that they are here for us if we need help, they really do mean it. The office hours on a syllabus are more than just times that a professor is not spending in a classroom. They are minutes of opportunities, as well as those before and after classes, to discover meaningful relationships with the people who are here to see us transform into well-rounded, successful students.

Chandler, a senior psychology and Spanish major from Cary, is the opinion editor.