university coping: how do you interact with professors?

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Joined: 25 Jun 2020
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Posts: 9
Location: Los Angeles

30 Jun 2020, 1:02 am

It is my third year in university and I still don't know any single professors personally. I really need to apply for a lab position and get letters of recommendation for grad school. Although I have an almost perfect GPA, I am getting so stressed because I don't know how to interact and develop a relationship with professors.

I never go to office hours, because I really have no idea how to interact with professors. Also, I have trouble asking the questions since the way I think of problems is so different... I can't discuss problems or having back and forth conversations like neurotypical people. People don't know I have ASD and when I do something inappropriate, people dislikes me and thinks I am rude, cold or disrespectful. That makes me very anxious about interacting with professors...

Do you guys have a similar experience? How do you deal with that?


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Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,204
Location: Houston, Texas

03 Jul 2020, 6:40 pm

Couple of suggestions:

Any professor you’ve had twice? And maybe you could say that in first email and then follow-up text or phone call.

My preferred intellectual style is the case study method, and I’ll link things in what other people perceive as pretty far-fetched analogies, although to me they’re pretty good analogies. :D

For the future . . . is there a way you might write in a notebook a first phrase, second phrase, and a question both below and between them? And you could show this to a professor as you verbally ask.

For the future . . . on a second or third or fourth visit to a professor, maybe you say, you know, I’m probably either Aspie or Aspie-light which means I put together things in my own way. [whether or not professor says, like we all do, you can still say . . ] Yes, like we all do, but I think for me, a little bit more than average.

Goal is to keep it light, might come across as medium.

And yes, sometimes semi-memorizing and rehearsing like a theatrical performance does help.


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Joined: 27 Apr 2018
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Posts: 471
Location: Narnia

06 Jul 2020, 7:01 pm

Don't worry about relationships. If your grades are good, take a handful of professors who gave you your best grades and ask for letters of recommendation.

Friendships with professors can happen, but don't try to force it. I'd imagine that it would come off as disingenuous. They don't need to be your friend, they can just be your teacher and still give you a leg up later on.

AQ: 36 (last I checked :p)