Good Student-Professor Relationships Are Invaluable
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Student Life

Good Student-Professor Relationships Are Invaluable

Office hours are your friend!

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Good Student-Professor Relationships Are Invaluable

A lot of times when you tell someone you are considering pursuing academia beyond your undergrad years, they say, "Oh well, have fun being unemployed," or "So you're going to be a professor?" To be fair, with the way the job market looks, going toward academia doesn't seem very practical. Being a professor is a hard job that doesn't pay much, and yet my professors, at my small, private liberal arts college, have been the most supportive and influential adults in my life. They've made a tangible difference.

Coming from a background of 15 years in Catholic Education, I was used to fearing authority, like my teachers. I was terrified to even speak when called on by a figure of authority. I got yelled at for lots of things, being late, not having my shirt tucked in, etc. Everything had to be uniform. When I went to college, I expected that my professors wouldn't give me the time of day to speak of them. I thought they were so much smarter and educated (which is true) that I didn't think they would be interested in anything that I had to say.

Then I discovered office hours, and forced myself to go to one of my professor's office during this time. I often was surprised at how much we talked about, and at how much I was able to speak in general about my life, even personal things. Most of the time, I was surprised at how much I learned by just spending ten minutes in a professor's office once or twice a week.

I even went one time into my English professor's office to talk about a paper for the class, and we ended up talking about mental illness and anxiety. I talked about my problems with anxiety, and she said, "Wow, I had no idea. I would have never guessed that you struggled that way." She asked me if there was a way she could make my time in her class easier or if I needed an extension on the paper, and I said no, but I felt like we had come to a new level of understanding.

People say you should get close to your professors just for letters of recommendations, but I would say that's not even half of the advantages that comes with befriending professors. Having someone in the faculty who knows you and values you as a student is invaluable. You get all kinds of opportunities, and you get one heck of a confidence boost. So, to incoming freshman: If one of your professors said something in class that interested you, don't be afraid to just go into their office hours to talk about it. Starting good relationships as soon as possible in college will make your academic experience run a lot smoother.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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