No one ever thinks about their advisor as their friend, but they could be your number one ally at in your academic career. Best case scenario, you think your advisor is pretty normal. Worst case scenario, you think they are a stuffy, academic who couldn’t possibly understand you. The truth remains that a little time invested in getting to know your advisor will serve you well in the future. Ask yourself:
- Who knows the programs at your institution better than a faculty member?
- Who do you think sits on the scholarship selection committees? Faculty members!
- Who has the academic catalog memorized and knows the curriculum the way that a professor does?
- Isn’t it smart to have friends in high places?
Why wouldn’t you want to be friends with your advisor?! They, surprisingly, are actual people! They don’t sleep in the closets at night. They have husbands and wives and children. Start by asking them if they live close by or if they are local to the area. Maybe they would like to talk about where they went to college or how they found their field of expertise. Literally, ask anything and let a relationship unfold.
Make a plan for your whole four years and see where your advisor can take you.