People who aren’t college students love to make pronouncements about what college is like. Grandma, for example, raves about how much fun it will be to study and learn. Dad, pragmatic as ever, says “It’ll help get you a good job.” But the promise people love to make?

     “You’ll make friends that’ll last you for the rest of your life.”

     And they’re not wrong. Between fraternities and sororities, classes, teams, and casual conversations in lines at D-Hall or tables in Shad, opportunities abound to make friends and deepen relationships. And even when the alumni come back, once you get over how quirky and out-of-date they are, it’s hard not to notice just how connected they are to their fellow graduates. College, then, truly is a great incubator for friendship.

     But while it’s important to make good friends our own age and in our fellow community of students, there is another demographic on campus just as worthy of our admiration and attention — the faculty. It’s easy to think of them as a group of people who appear and disappear as class begins and ends, but they, too, have interests and a desire to get to know us. Why, then, should we limit ourselves to just making connections with students?

     F&M brags, and rightfully so, about the close relationship between its professors and students; let’s put our money where our mouth is. This week, ask a question in class! Go to office hours! Talk about why they study in their particular field! Because while these people might not be our friends in the same way as our fraternity brothers and teammates, they can certainly be sources of strength and guidance as we set out on our life’s journeys.