Creating Relationships

Brittany Wells, Managing Editor

One of the primary benefits of attending a smaller school is being able to create long lasting relationships with your peers, school staff, and professors. This benefit is not always easily attainable at larger schools. How many students do you think who attend Indiana University, Purdue University, the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville, are able to walk around their campus center and greet people they encounter by name? I can honestly say that I do not know anyone who attends one of the aforementioned larger schools who is able to greet people by name. It is important that we, as students of Kentucky Wesleyan College, do not take this opportunity for granted. Each of us is at Kentucky Wesleyan College for a specific reason. Creating relationships is one of those reasons, and it will only benefit us in the long run.

One of the easiest ways to establish a connection, and therefore a relationship, with your professors is by communicating with them when you need help especially when struggling to understand class material. The professors are committed to helping you understand and learn, and they will always give you one-on-one support when requested. Reaching out for assistance demonstrates to your professor that you are interested in developing yourself and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in the course. Once you start building this relationship, it will continue to grow.

For those of you who do not have a difficult time doing well in your classes, you can also build a positive relationship with your professor through class participation. If you understand the material, make it known through value added interaction and engagement with the professor and the students in the class. Your professors and classmates will appreciate your willingness to provide information to the class, and your comments may help others to come to a better understanding of the material.

The earlier you create these relationships, the better it is for all involved. The longer you have relationships with your peers and professors, the more it will help you in the long run. Start creating these relationships as early in your career as possible at Kentucky Wesleyan College; freshman year is ideal. By the time you are a senior, and you start applying to graduate programs and looking for jobs and careers, you are going to have to start listing references. It is very beneficial to have built relationships, and to be able to ask one or more of your professors to be your reference. If you look at your professor as your boss or supervisor, then technically you are working for them in their classes, and you could be considered their employee. When you work hard in class, and want to do your best, and ask for assistance so you can do the job properly, it creates a positive relationship with your professor, or supervisor. When the time comes and you need a reference, if you have built this relationship, then they will be there to support you.

Do not be afraid to put yourself out there with your professors and peers. The only way to grow is to get out of your comfort zone. When you get out of your comfort zone, doors upon doors will open up that you had no idea were even there. This is one of the great benefits of coming to a smaller school, so it is important to take advantage of it. At school, you get to meet people from all different walks of life. You get to know them by name, which is important, because that is how we identify ourselves. How does it make you feel when a classmate, albeit not a close friend, greets you by name in the hallway or campus center? It makes you feel pretty good. Even if you do not know that person by name and you say “Hey, girl!” back to them, it will motivate you to want to know that person’s name so that you can return the greeting. Building relationships is always advantageous, never disadvantageous.