My friends from high school and I all went to different colleges; some of them went to big state schools, some to small Christian schools, and some to private colleges like Furman. I’ve noticed a lot of differences between their schools and mine, but one of the most obvious ones is that it doesn’t sound like a lot of schools have the one-on-one relationships between students and faculty like Furman does. This is baffling to me–I could not imagine my life here without the relationships I have with my professors.
Sure, within my major the relationships are all incredibly strong. It’s incredibly difficult to be a theatre artist without growing incredibly close with the people you work with, whether they’re your peers or your professors. But I’ve found that even in my General Ed classes, the professors at Furman really and truly care about me.
During my First Year Writing Seminar, my class consisted of 12 students. My professor got to know me over the course of that semester and even checked on me when I got overwhelmed by the whole “first-semester-freshman-year” jitters. I took an English class for my textual analysis credit and still have conversations with the professor from that class when I see him around campus.
When your average class size is 13, it is really difficult to not form a personal relationship with your professors. The professors here really care about your success and well-being, and it’s super refreshing to experience that after hearing all those stories of how scary college professors can be. I’m amazed at how consistently the professors on this campus bond with their students. While I’m sure you could get through 4 years without connecting with a prof, it’d be a crazy idea. Not only are they experts in their fields, but most of the time they want to help you find jobs or opportunities or understand the material. And, in my experience, they’re really cool people too!
As I’m sure you’ve realized based off my other blog posts, I am all about building interpersonal relationships with people who can encourage you and who you can encourage in return. Professors are a great way to build those relationships because they’ve been through this chaos, they understand what it’s like to break into an industry, and they survived just fine.
If you’re in the midst of a college search, please take into account what kind of mentor relationships you want to have. Furman likes to boast its 10:1 ratio of faculty to students, but it actually makes such a huge difference. I love having a support system of not just peers but mentors too.
Be sure to follow my adventures on instagram, #CamOnCampus!