Richie: Finding the Right Professor

Summer’s nearing its end and soon you’ll all be in Boston, enjoying the company of new friends and starting an incredible four year long adventure. The start of college is no doubt, exciting. Yet, I know some of you might have your small fears or may be even experiencing minor panic attacks. I promise you it’s a lot easier to adapt to than you think.

Starting off new classes was one of my personal fears. First off, its definitely wise to look up what building your class will be in before the first day. The majority of your classes your first semester are general education requirements, and for that reason, will be very spread out across the campus. Get familiar with the names and acronyms of the different buildings. Don’t be afraid to ask someone for directions.

Having a good sense of where your classes are located will also help you better understand where you’ll be able to stop for lunch in between your classes. Will you have time to make it to this dining hall, or even go back to your dorm for a bit?

It’s also good to know that all professors always go through the syllabus on the first day of classes. A break down of the grade percentage, tests, upcoming projects, will be will be explained to you right away. That way you’ll have a good sense of what’s expected of you and you won’t have to worry about being thrown to the wolves. If you realize the class you signed up for wasn’t exactly what you thought it was, don’t hesitate to talk to an academic advisor to switch out of a class.

My main bit of advice is on professors though. I know I was worried about trying to build connections with my professors.  I left high school with a lot of friends in the faculty. Recommendations and help from teachers were easy to come by, and I worried it might not be the same in college. In your smaller classes you’ll be able to stand apart and establish a good relationship by just speaking up, but your larger classes will require a bit more of you.

I’d definitely recommend finding out a professor’s office hours and making an effort to show up. They’ll admire your desire to receive extra help and will also appreciate the company. Trust me, this will be very helpful later on if you need a recommendation later on in an extracurricular, and, for many COM professors, it’ll be very helpful when your looking for that internship during the summer.

BU really has some incredible professors and I really do suggest you shape your classes around them. I always schedule my classes according to recommendations from other students, and sometimes even the website ratemyprofessor. Obviously, the reviews on the site have to be taken with a grain of salt since most people writing reviews are going to be either irrationally angry at the professor, or madly in love with them. Either way, it does help a bit. A great professor really does make all the difference in your experience at college. Not just one that will give you an easy grade, but will engage you, interest you, challenge you, and then be able to help you in after you leave their class.

Ask upperclassmen (and obviously your COM Ambassadors!) what professors they must absolutely recommend and I’m sure they’ll give you a huge list.  I definitely know the film professors that are top in my head.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer, and get excited for Boston. I’m already excited and it’s not even my freshman year.

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