Why You Should Befriend Your Professors

A common piece of advice I always received when I was getting ready to go to college was that I needed to develop a good relationship with my professors. However, if you’re anything like me, you didn’t take this advice seriously. I was never close with any of my high school teachers and I got by just fine, why should my college professors be any different? Now that I’m a senior, I finally realize that having a good relationship with your professors is one of the most valuable things you can possibly take away from your college experience.

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Unfortunately, this is 100% true. You could have a 4.0 GPA and the best education in the world, but if you don’t have professional connections, that’s not going to get you anywhere after graduation. Whether you’re applying for jobs, internships, or graduate schools, you absolutely have to have references that can back up your work ethic and character. Trust me, I’ve spent the past semester applying for grad schools and job openings, and there has not been one that didn’t ask for at least three letters of recommendation or professional references.

 

Aside from providing opportunities after graduation, your professors can also be the difference between a great or terrible undergraduate experience. By getting to know them, you can be more comfortable going to ask for help or advice, and they’ll also be more willing to reach out to you. I can name several times when my professors have specifically reached out to me with opportunities for presentations, scholarships, and leadership positions, only because I had developed a professional relationship with them.

 

Overall, it’s extremely important to make sure your professors know you, as well as your capabilities and plans. I know it may seem scary to reach out to them, but it’s part of their job to help you, especially your advisors. Next time you have a question or need advice, drop by your professor during their office hours and ask them! I promise, they want to help you and see you succeed. By befriending your professors, not only will you get the help you need during your undergraduate experience, but you can open up so many opportunities for your future as well.