Continuity with Professors: Step out of “the zone”

Continuity is defined as, “the quality of something that does not stop or change as time passes”(MW). It can be great or terrible depending on the situation. For instance, if you’ve continued visiting a tutoring center on campus over the course of your education, it’s likely helped you improve your skills. However, continuity can also stand in the way of growth.

I like continuity when it comes to taking classes with the same professors. I know and  trust them while they also know and understand me. Nothing wrong with that, right? In part, there really isn’t anything wrong with it; you can make it through your education having enrolled under the same professor for one entire cluster of classes and perform well. I have done this myself and just now realized that I have, in the past, not thought myself capable enough to learn from someone new. However, I believe that practicing continuity might also hold us back from learning more, and in turn, stop us from growing to our full potential as students and future employees in our desired career fields.
Why? When it comes to being a student, I believe that switching it up allows us to learn from a different perspective. Each of your professors is an individual with their own journey through college, most at completely different institutions. That means you are gaining knowledge, instilled into their knowledge base, from schools all over the nation, and possibly world. This allows for diversity within your understanding of the material presented.
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Learning from a new professor has the potential to challenge you to improve as a student. If you sign up with the same professor whenever possible, you are in a comfort zone (unless its absolutely the only option, of course). Learning rarely happens in areas of comfort. You HAVE to take chances and invite challenge into your academic life in order to become the best you can be. School isn’t easy, if it feels easy you might be stuck in continuity.

Finally, stepping outside of continuity allows you the opportunity to work under a new professor, teaching you how to communicate and collaborate with a different personality. Learning to communicate with different people and then collaborate with them is 100% necessary in the work force.
I am not against continuity with professors. In fact, I encourage you to consider one of your “favorites” as a potential mentor. That way you can maintain a professional relationship while also working with new professors. This next semester I will walk away from continuity. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone when possible and sign up to learn from a new professor.

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