To The Professor Who Changed My Life,
You may not remember me, but I will always remember you. College can be a scary place, and it can be hard to know what exactly you're doing there or what you want to get out of your experiences. As a young person fresh from high school, suddenly finding myself in a new and intimidating world of challenging courses, campus activities, and an unknown social arena, it was easy to feel like I was alone. I began to doubt myself and my place in school, but one day, I walked into your classroom.
It was there, in that room, where I learned to value my education and to open my mind. You treated me and my peers like we were your equals. You told us funny stories from your college years, helping us to relate and understand that we're not alone. You encouraged us to learn from each other and you also listened and learned from us. The environment that you established in that class room was one that changed my view of learning and challenged my pre-established concepts of the philosophies of life.
Because of your willingness to keep an open mind, and your encouragement for me and my peers to do so as well, that fateful semester changed my life. I came to realize things that made me value what I had, and made me reconsider my reasoning for being in school. I learned more than just what was on the syllabus; I learned how to be a better student, how to look at both sides of an argument in order to make an informed decision, how to think critically and challenge authority, how to value others and their contributions, and how to value myself.
You treated me like a person, not a number. You took the time to listen to and understand me as an individual. And you encouraged me to do the same of you and others. You made me realize what it was that I wanted to do with my life and why it was that I was in college in the first place. Without your unwavering guidance and support, I honestly don't know where I would have ended up.
After taking that first class with you, I took another, and another. I'm sure I wasn't the first or last student whom you have had such an impact on, and I value your willingness to spend your life guiding and teaching others. You mean so much more than you realize, and I hope you never change. You were more than just a teacher; you were a peer, a leader, a follower, a mentor, a trainer, a supporter, a counselor, a friend. Whether you know it or not, you changed my life for the better and I am so, so thankful for that.
A Grateful Student