Professors are defined as a teacher with the highest rank at a college or university, or if you’re a student, these are the people that hold the ultimate control of your destiny. Okay maybe not that intense, but it sure feels that way in a classroom of over one hundred students. I think all of us have particular memories about a professor that inspired them, changed them, pushed them, or even discouraged them. While I feel like I’ve had every kind of professor, I feel like I should say thank you to the one that molded me. Entering a huge university with several hundreds of majors and separate colleges I had never even heard of was both overwhelming and exciting. I was very unsure of what path I wanted to take in college and to be completely honest, I had to find out what I did not want to do in order to find what I was truly passionate about. (Side note: Shout out to all the nurses out there. Blood and vomit were absolutely not for me.) With that being said, I am thankful for the professor whose class made me feel as though I would never survive, whose class made me feel like my intelligence was that of a harmless flea. Thank you for teaching me that I am not defined by a number on a piece of paper. Thank you for showing me that I was meant to shine brighter in another major. That my talents were going to unfold elsewhere. I am thankful for getting knocked down because I was blind to the blessings and success that were right in front of me.
As I entered my second semester at The University of Georgia, I was on a completely different route. After many emails and meetings with my advisor, I walked into the classroom that sparked my passion for my major today. My professor was witty and incredibly smart, and she sure did not tolerate disrespect from anyone. She was passionate about what she taught. She was patient when we did not understand the material and answered I am sure a dozen questions of mine each week with the same cheerful attitude. She idolized the fact that women are strong, capable, and powerful individuals, yet she never took herself too seriously and understood that she too makes mistakes. Above all, she sparked an ambition in me to inspire others by using what I love to do, even if I am unsure what that is at the moment. For that, I say thank you. Thank you for helping me back up when I felt like my path was fading. Thank you for teaching me that there is not a specific degree or college that defines your worth or your path for the future. Thank you for making class fun on days when I truly did not feel like going. Thank you for pushing me to see things differently and to form my own opinions. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me to inspire others with encouragement, drive, and acts of kindness.