T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 72015
posted 02-20-2013 06:05 PM
There's this professor I really admire. I have a class with him right now and I had another last semester. I went to an off-campus lecture he was having, and he noticed that I was there. He sent me an email later saying that he was pleasantly surprised to see me and to come by to chat sometime, that he'd been wanting to meet with me for some time now. I'd been wanting to meet with him as well because I'd like to ask him to be my advisor and to talk about the class and his research and all, yet I've been way too nervous to do so. I'm glad he initiated the appointment, but I'm freaking out! I hate meeting one-on-one with adults, especially professors or teachers because I just get so nervous and initimidated. When I get nervous and am talking to someone I don't know very well, I have a really hard time maintaining eye contact. In the past, I've only gone to meetings with professors when it's required, and those meetings are usually short and to the point, so I'm usually okay. I'm looking forward to this and I really hope to build a relationship with him, but does anyone have any tips to help me feel more confident and less anxious when talking to professors? That would be great, and sorry for this being way off-topic.
Member # 90293
posted 02-20-2013 07:02 PM
When I'm feeling nervous about meeting with someone, either for the first time, or in a new situation, I find it helpful to think over things that I might want to say. I'm not talking about practicing specific lines, or anything like that, but just thinking about what I usually speak about well and making sure those thoughts are in the front of my head, as it were.
For example, this professor might be interested in hearing about what you're majoring in, or what you plan to do with that. If there's small talk before that, it might help to pay attention to what's happening on campus and talk about some things that have happened recently or that are coming up that are of interest to you. Thoughts?
Member # 79774
posted 02-21-2013 08:14 PM
it might help to remember too that this professor specifically asked to meet you - that's really encouraging! Apart from his skill and knowledge, does he seem like a decent human being? If so, then one option might be to just tell him that you feel a bit nervous, and he might be able to put you at your ease a little. It's highly unlikely to be the first time that he's ever met anyone who's felt a bit overawed by him, and decent people are usually very, very nice, not to mention rather self-effacing, about it. Something that I've found helps me a bit is to notice the ways in which someone is very "human". For example, I've noticed one professor's office that was filled with teetering piles of papers and books; a very cool-looking biker jacket on a hook of a professor's office; another professor broke her wrist skiing (not so much the broken wrist, but the fact that a hobby of hers was so apparent). Also, it helps to remember that really, nearly everyone feels the same. My favourite professor was a world expert in his niche area, and he was totally excited about presenting at the same conference as The most famous professor in the broader field; and a (not-school) teacher of mine was completely bowled over and a bit nervous of someone even more experienced and skilled, and was also nervous when he was doing a public presentation and was terribly happy when us, his students, told him we thought he'd been great. Remember that no matter how senior, skilled or knowledgeable someone is, you always have something to offer; and if they're actually worth their crust, they'll want to learn from you, too.
Member # 72015
posted 02-22-2013 05:50 PM
Thanks, both of you. I plan on majoring in his discipline, so I did want to talk to him about that. Also, Redskies, that is true, he was the one who initiated the meeting, so that's a good thing. Thanks for reminding me! He is a very kind person, so I really have no reason to be nervous, but I still am.
I've told him before that I was shy when he remarked that he would like me to speak more in class, but I will also bring up the fact that I'm pretty anxious. My meeting is on Monday...I'm ready for it to get here already!
Member # 72015
posted 02-25-2013 02:51 PM
The meeting went very well.
It wasn't awkward at all and he really put me at ease by telling me that he understands how I feel and all because in school he was always really quiet and shy and still isn't very good at speaking. In addition, he was really self-effacing which was nice since I had been really intimidated by him. He agreed to be my advisor, helped me declare my major, and gave me some tips with school and such. I can tell he's a really caring person, so I'm really glad I'm getting to know him. Again, thanks for the help both of you. [ 02-25-2013, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: Roxie102 ]
Member # 79774
posted 02-25-2013 07:11 PM
Roxie, that's great! How awesome that that guy sounds so lovely
And well done you!