5 Ways to Force Your Professor to Like You

How to sneakily become your college professor’s favorite student.

While your astounding talent and unbeatable intelligence may speak for itself, you’re more likely to score a good grade if your professor doesn’t think you’re a lazy, unfeeling jerk. The key here is to get him or her to like you without coming across like a brownnoser, teacher’s pet or just a generally unlikeable person. Take notes, star students, as we have an academic discussion about the top five ways to force your professors to like you.

1. Sit in the front.

Your seating choice may seem like a minor detail, but parking yourself in the front of the class shows that you care enough to refrain from simultaneously texting, snacking, and watching YouTube videos of cute cats during a lecture. Trust me: your willingness and ability to not watch YouTube videos of cute cats says a lot of good things about you before you even open your mouth.

Remember, professors are people too, and unless yours is a total freak-robot, he or she will appreciate a little comedic relief.

2. Be funny at the appropriate times.

Remember, professors are people too, and unless yours is a total freak-robot, he or she will appreciate a little comedic relief. Just make sure your jokes are both appropriate (keep it PG-13, please) and well-timed (don’t unleash a zinger during an exam or lecture.) By the way, if you can manage to make an intelligent joke, then congratulations – you’ve mastered the art of killing two birds with one stone.

3. Make an effort to bond with your professor.

This is admittedly way easier with young, hip professors who listen to The Black Keys than it is with 65-year-olds who have as many doctorates as they do children. However, if you make an effort to get to know your professor, you may find that the two of you have a lot in common, regardless of his or her age and number of doctorates. Maybe your poetry professor has met your favorite writer or your environmental science professor has traveled through the country you want to study abroad in. If neither of these are the case, he or she may at least agree on how terrible the dining hall food is, and hey, that’s a start!

4. Ask a lot of questions.

Even if you don’t have a legitimate question, make one up. I mean, don’t ask your professor about his thoughts on Kim and Kanye, but if you can come up with an interesting, pertinent discussion point, go on with your bad self! Doing so will show that you’re at least interested and professors love students who can start a discussion.

5. If you do poorly on a test or paper, ask how you can make up for it.

Look at it this way: If you messed up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you wouldn’t just pretend like it never happened, right? Well, in this metaphor, you are dating your professor (you’re welcome for that image), so if you want to keep up a good rapport with him or her, be open and honest. Admit that your latest academic performance sucked and that you’d like to make up for it. Just don’t bring in a bouquet of roses – you’re going for remorseful and dedicated, not creepy and concerning.

If all else fails, resort to plan B: bring your professor some free food. After all, it’s practically impossible to hate someone who comes bearing snacks.

Quick Tips

  • Don’t watch YouTube videos during class.
  • Be funny but not too funny.
  • Treat your professor like a real, live person.
  • Raise your hand consistently and confidently.
  • Try to make up for your academic flops.

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