Editorial: Pay heed to professor connections


Maria Echeverry

Graphic by Maria Echeverry.

Story by The Baker Orange Editorial Board

You’re up late one night cramming for a 10:30 a.m. exam the next day and decide to skip your 9:30 a.m. class. You didn’t expect what would come the next morning, however.

You’re awakened at 9:34 a.m. to an unknown phone number and a voicemail. It’s your professor wondering why you’re not in class.

At a small school, we’re all too familiar with this student and professor relationship. Sometimes, it seems like too much; after all, we’re in college, right?

We often take this small-school perk for granted, believing that because we’re in control of our academic destiny, we don’t need to go to every class to succeed. But as studies have shown, there’s a clear relationship between class attendance and overall college success. It is essential that students utilize all chances to engage in their coursework in order to get the most out of their education.

As we get one step closer to graduation, we begin to realize that soon the call about an absence won’t be from our professor, but rather from our boss calling to issue a dreaded pink slip. These small, yet irreplaceable experiences in college help set our priorities straight as we learn how to become better citizens and employees.

Unlike many of our friends who currently attend larger, public schools, we are able to interact on a daily basis with professors, staff members and administrators who know us by name. We may even put academia aside for a moment when they ask us how we’re doing personally.

What we don’t do enough, however, is show appreciation for this element of our post-secondary education. Most faculty members work day-in and day-out to provide opportunities for us.

The connections that a small school gives students can help them build on their strengths and conquer their weaknesses. From the family-style Greek system to the constantly connected alumni, small schools constantly offer undergraduates a variety of resources that will be useful in life beyond Baker.

As we move toward an increased importance on who you know, network building has never been more vital. By taking advantage of our connections at Baker, we may be able to build ourselves up for bright opportunities early in our careers.

Whether you are graduating soon or continuing with your undergraduate life, remember that those calls, texts or emails from your professor are there for your benefit. Don’t take them for granted, because you never know what opportunities they may bring down the road.