Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make long-lasting relationships

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make long-lasting relationships

Derweatra Hammock

“Don’t be caught off guard by the relationship between students, faculty and staff. We sometimes have faculty and staff picking up students and giving them rides to school.”

I was very surprised to hear this during my Georgia Highlands orientation session, and I was not the only one. By the audible gasps that went around the auditorium, I could tell that other students, as well as attending parents, were shocked by the statement too.

Teachers emailing students, giving them rides and setting up meetings outside of school was unheard of in high school and would have been considered questionable behavior.

There was always this invisible line that said, “Do Not Cross,” and high school faculty and staff always seemed to have the upper hand.

For example, it felt like they could ask me any question because they had the right to know everything about me, but this was not a two-way street. Asking them questions, especially non-school related, could be seen as being nosy and disrespectful.

Don’t get me wrong, respecting faculty and staff and their boundaries is a must, even in college, but from my two years at Highlands I have realized that the statement at orientation was truthful.

The barriers between college students and faculty and staff are not as solid, and this has allowed me to create close and, hopefully, long-lasting relationships at GHC.

When my professors ask me personal questions, most don’t mind if I ask them one back. My professors also don’t mind if I ask for assistance with non-school related things, and some even ask me for help too.

College faculty and staff have no problem sitting and chatting with students, and I am no longer surprised to get hugs, handshakes or pats on the back either.

Developing great relationships with faculty and staff has been one of my favorite experiences at GHC, and I encourage others to make it one of theirs too.