What I learned from my professors…academics aside

As school season is rapidly approaching, I decided to share the wonderful things I learned after my first year of college. Maybe you can go into your next academic year with a different mindset. A mindset that isn’t a conversation with your advisor on how to get through college as quickly as possible. A mindset apart from your perfect 4.0 GPA goals. An open mindset.

1. Selfless love.

I’ll never forget my favorite professor say, “As a teacher, you don’t take sick days when you have a cold. You save sick days for when your family is sick.” She was telling us how the teacher controls the energy of the class. The kids won’t have fun if the teacher isn’t. If you’re sick and lazy, the class isn’t going to be energetic and fun. I learned selflessness to a whole new extent that day. It’s always been rather easy for me to love kids because of their cuteness or goofiness, but to love them because I want them to be excited to learn is a love I haven’t given out quite yet. A love that this professor gives in abundance. A love I want to be overflowed with.

2. Energy.

Because of my teacher’s love for her students, she was always highly energetic about the material for the day. Her excitement of the present topic definitely soaked into her students. I learned that the energy inputted by with the instructor was the energy outputted by the students. Negative energy: not allowed.

3. Teacher’s have a life, too.

My orientation professor was also my advisor. He gave off a laid back vibe in the classroom, but especially in his office– the leather couch and pop always up for grabs. On a few (not so) rare occasions, he would email us that class is cancelled because the weather is too nice. He would tell us in the next class period that he’d rather be playing golf and that he knows we’d rather be doing anything but sit in class. From him, I learned there is a life outside of school or work. Your future profession may be your dream, but there’s more to life than accomplishing one dream and forgetting to live. Don’t be so strict with yourself!

4. Relationships first.

I learned this one through experience. Classes, well–and life, go much better when you know your professors as more than just your teacher. They are coaching you in life, preparing you with knowledge and skills. As for me, I will have the same 4-6 professors for the rest of my three years. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be building a valuable relationship. These professors are a great resource to careers and even a rock during rough times. I have one professor in mind that is this for me. She got me a job coaching her daughter’s volleyball team. In a few short months, this remarkable woman became someone in my life I didn’t know I was missing. She shared deep parts of her life and spoke wisdom before practices, something that someone who shows up for class, and class only, wouldn’t get to hear.

No matter your occupation, all of these life attributes apply to you! You can bring the positivity and energy to your office. You can cover your coworkers shift because they are sick, even when you really don’t have time. Play catch with your kids instead of sitting in front of the T.V after work because you care about them and their wellbeing over your comfort and exhaustion. Writing this has helped me remember to apply these skills to my life– workplace and elsewhere, now and future.

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