I believe having strong professional and personal relationships with professors is key for student growth and development. It may come as a surprise to some, but professors at Grinnell understand that students have lives outside of the classroom. In fact, they were in the same position once and dealing with similar issues. For instance, I was going through a tough time adjusting to Grinnell during my first semester. I had a hard time balancing my academics with other extracurricular commitments. In high school, I felt it was much easier to get involved in a variety of extracurricular activities. However, it was a bit more challenging to manage my time at Grinnell because the academics were so rigorous.
One of my professors expressed concern for me, and I was able to initiate a conversation about my struggles. I felt comfortable approaching my professor because I was taking his class and interested in his particularly field. He expressed empathy and recommended I take advantage of on-campus resources to overcome my struggles. He later became my advisor. To this day, he understands how to incorporate my interests in my studies. On one occasion, he wrote a glowing recommendation that gave me receive an amazing opportunity to observe development projects in Thailand. Besides being my adviser, he also became my mentor.
Do approach your professors or visit them during their office hours. Whether it be for academics or a simple question, professors love that you're taking the initiative to have conversations with them. Since the small size of Grinnell allows for more frequent informal interactions, don't be afraid to be the first to break down the barrier and say "hi."