During first year, I can count the number of times I went to see a professor for help or to ask a question. I’m a shy person so seeking out conversation was not high on my list of fun things to do. I was nervous they would think my question was a “stupid” question or that they had better things to do other than to re-explain something we had already been over in class.
I was wrong to be nervous. It took me until my second year to figure out that that was not their perspective. First of all, it is part of their job to answer questions outside of class and recite information more than one time. But aside from that, I have found every professor to be kind, personable, patient, and very happy to answer all questions. Often, I leave with more than just the answer; I leave with a thorough understanding of the topic and ways to formulate an answer for a potential exam question or bar question. More than not, I end up staying longer than needed just to chat about life or their experiences. The conversation often will steer in directions to highlight other topics I would have questions about like how to answer multiple choice questions more quickly, where to find extra practice questions, and how to cram an insane amount of information into my brain for finals. I have found that the professors find genuine interest in their students and do want to help them succeed. One professor described helping students as an “academic delight.” I also imagine when students talk or ask questions, it helps professors understand what the students are and are not understanding and allows then to connect with the students.
So, when in doubt, just ask! It turns out, professors don’t bite.