Be you a struggling sophomore or overachieving fresher, for most university students of the 21st century, the farthest in terms of planning for the future is probably dinner plans for tomorrow. But here's the deal- you have to get prepped for grad school as soon as you can. Here are a few tips some cool (anonymous) professors have provided regarding what to do to get decent recommendation letters.
Show up to class
Don't skip. Whatever your position is, or number of books in your backpack, what truly matters is what you carry in that brain of yours, and how well you can present it. If you feel you have nothing meaningful to say, ask questions that can help the teacher carry the class forward. Your 5 seconds of bravery can catch your faculty's attention, and increase your chances to be better acquainted with her/him. So raise your hand, and speak up.
Hey, you can make as much fun as you want of students who go to visit their teachers outside class-time, but when they need help with their assignments, or a well-worded recommendation letter, they know who to visit and how to approach them- but you, dear introvert, will not. If you form a good student-teacher bond, your recommendation letter will be a lot more personalised, which stands out to future employers and enrolment officers.
Keep the BS at bay
Be a conversationalist, not a chatter. If you think your teacher isn't going to get it when you kiss-up to him/her, you are terribly mistaken. Conversing about ideas that you developed in class with professors whose opinions matter is something worth acknowledging. Maybe your enthusiasm will help create a good impression. But be sure to present yourself with a tone that says “I'm here to learn” and not “I'll do 'anything' for grades.” Focus on leaving a good impression, not grease.
Susmita is a literature major who lives on tea and sweet toast. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.