Professor, do you want to be my friend?

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

For the better part of my life I was painfully shy. I didn’t make friends easily, I couldn’t make small talk, and being with large groups of people was the last thing I wanted to do. So speaking in class or speaking to professors was terrifying to me.

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college when I had a professor that sought out my opinion, that I realized having a personal relationship with professors was fun, informative, and interesting.

The professor from my sophomore year convinced me to declare English as my major. He was also the first teacher I ever had that gave me a C on a paper; I was used to getting A’s. However, he helped me develop my writing skills and taught me the best way to critically read a novel.

Before his class, reading was a hobby and writing was a skill. After developing a friendship with him, reading became a passion and writing became a career destination.

Often times students think professors don’t have time or the desire to develop relationships with students. In reality, most professors I speak with love being able to connect with their students outside of class. Professors can learn just as much from us as we learn from them.

Professors can seem a bit intimidating because of their years of education and the fact that they are giving out the grades. But professors are normal people that go to the grocery store, have families, go to restaurants and watch TV. So even going into their office and realizing you both enjoy NCIS can make them and their class more interesting and more enjoyable.

The best part about having a close relationship with your professor is that even after you have already taken their class, they will still be available to give you advice if you need it. You can also use them as a reference for any job or opportunity you apply for.

Some students may think professors don’t have time to talk outside of class. But if a professor doesn’t have time, they will tell you. They will politely tell you they have a lot to do and talking at another time would work better.

Having a good relationship with your professor helps with class and with your grade. If you feel comfortable with your professor, you will feel comfortable enough to get help with projects, papers, and tests.

Brainstorming ideas with your professor is one of the best resources you have for your projects. Nobody knows the subject better than your professor does.

Professors have had so many experiences, they were students at one point, they have had their ups and downs. To have those professors there for you to give you advice and talk about their experiences is an amazing opportunity.

Take advantage of the knowledge your professors have. Walk into their office and ask, “Was your college experience anything like mine?”