How To: Suck Up To Your TF Late in the Game

Ah, office hours...your new home.
Ah, office hours...your new home. By Ben S. Rhee

There’s only a month left till the semester is over, and you’ve realized that you need to be in your TF’s good graces to salvage your grade. Chances are, he/she doesn’t even know your name or doesn’t like you because you often fail to contribute “meaningful discourse” during section. Thankfully, it’s not too late. Use these Flyby-approved tactics to finally establish a connection with your TF and finish the semester on a strong (or at least passable) note.

Mutual Interests

“Oh my god, you listen to NPR too?” Try to find out what your TF does in his/her free time or has an interest in, and try to build some conversations out of it. This will make you memorable to the TF, and it shows that you might actually care about building connections and not just boosting your grade.

Office Hours Bananza

Go to office hours, but don’t be basic and ask for help on your p-set. Instead, delve in and express a deeper interest in the subject. Tell your TF that you were just fascinated with that lecture last Wednesday and was wondering where you could find more supplementary material to satiate your desire for more knowledge on the topic. Of course, don’t lay it on too thickly, but a show of deep interest should definitely work in your favor later on.

The Present

No, do not get your TF a $100 JCPenney gift card. Instead, go on the thoughtful track, and bring in some baked goods, or even better, a handmade gift that shows you care. Feeling that this takes too much finesse? Give your TF a handwritten card instead. A few words can go a long way.

The Early Bird

Want to look like a dedicated student? If you can, show up to section before your TF. Don’t just sit there, though: read some supplementary material on the section topic, or show off your studious nature by poring through your lecture notes. As a bonus, try to be the last kid to leave section. It shows dedication.


Sometimes all you need is some good manners. Simply saying a genuine “good morning” and “have a nice day” leaves a lasting impression. It shows acknowledgement and respect to your TF, something that anyone would certainly enjoy.

Bottom line is, don’t suck up too hard, but make sure you’re doing something that gets your TF to actually notice and appreciate you. Enjoy the rest of the semester!

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