"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another," says Proverbs 27:17. This inspiring Biblical quote about human relationships applies very well to the benefits of befriending your professors.
Many college students have a hard time seeing their professors as people that they could actually make friends with. They are, after all, your superiors in the academic setting. They teach you, grade you, and almost certainly know a lot more than you do. While the relationship between professor and student should always be marked by a level of professionalism, there really is nothing wrong with getting to know and possibly even befriending your professors.
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another," says Proverbs 27:17. This inspiring Biblical quote about human relationships applies very well to the benefits of befriending your professors. The relationship can, in essence, "sharpen" you as a person. Students who get to know their professors are often compelled to work harder and become more engaged with the class material. If you know and respect the person who is going to be grading you, then you will likely want to do your best.
Knowing a professor also comes with several other added bonuses outside of the one specific course they are teaching you. If you truly have a passion for the subject matter, then you can talk to them about different classes to take or about possibly continuing with your studies past the undergraduate level. Having a good relationship with several professors can provide you with several good options for a supervisor for an honors program or a graduate degree.
If you want to get to know your professors, then you have to take the initiative by sitting in the front row, asking questions, and contributing to class discussion. If your professor is willing to take questions and doesn't have anywhere else they need to get to after class, then you can hang around to discuss the course material with them even further. Going to their office hours and sending e-mails is also a good way for students to get to talk more with their professors, but be mindful of their time and of the fact that many other students are also vying for it.
A great way to interact with your professors outside of the classroom setting is to simply spend more time around your department. Students and teachers often mix in a department's common areas, and it can be the perfect time to catch your professors and talk about something other than class. Do not be intimidated and nervous to strike up a conversation. Professors are people too, and are open to having conversations and meeting new people just like you are. If they wanted to be left alone all the time, then they would close themselves in their office.
Professors are always happy to see that students show an interest in the subject that they teach. They have toiled away for several years in order to get to where they are, and it's great to see that younger minds are eager to learn what they know. Making friends with your professors can open up numerous academic opportunities and add a lot of enrichment to your life overall.