With school kicking off over the past few weeks, it’s becoming more real that yet another year has passed. College women these days have a lot on their plates. Not only are we dealing with peers, bosses and screaming children, we soon will be facing an influx of all kinds of professors. A positive relationship with a professor has the potential to be a great opportunity, but what happens when we get stuck with a tough professor? I asked a few college women what they do to handle the pressure of a professor who is giving them a hard time. Here’s what they said. Feel free to leave your own comments on this article, as I’m sure that many of you can commiserate with these stories!
“I had a very tough dean to work with through my thesis process. While working on my thesis, I would turn it in at an assigned time throughout the process, where she and the committee would make recommendations (mainly grammar, etc). While I appreciated the corrections, it got to a point where I would make the corrections, and then the next recommendation would be to ‘go back’ to the old way. When I went back to the old way, the next recommendation would be to correct to what was corrected. Very frustrating and my thesis literally turned into pages of scratches and red marks. Finally, I took all the copies of the thesis and compared the corrections with the dean. I wish I could say we hugged and became BFFs, but not the case. She simply shook her head and continued making corrections. I did finish, I did graduate, and my thesis was published. What I learned from the experience is to always save your work (to compare corrections), but also sometimes you won’t have an incredible relationship with everyone.” ~Shelly Marie Redmond, EIC
“My freshman year I had a tough professor. She just expected a lot from her students. The easiest way to make them [your professor] happy is to show you care about his/her class and work your hardest. They will probably notice and appreciate it. That professor is now my advisor and a great resource!” – Ariana, 20, Syracuse University
“I once had a professor that didn’t lay out exactly what he wanted from his students. On my first paper for him, I didn’t do well. He gave us a checklist of the things he expected AFTER our first paper was due. I didn’t agree with his comments, but in order to get a good grade I adjusted my writing and began to get better grades. Some teachers don’t like a student’s style of writing and we shouldn’t take it personally! I just realized I couldn’t please everyone but I still worked hard and did my best in the class. –Kaitlin,19, Providence College
So next time you’re dealing with a tough professor keep these things in mind:
Keep calm: don’t get frustrated. Once you lose your cool, the battle is over and your professor has won. Call your mom, your best friend or someone you trust and vent to them. Who knows, they may have some words of advice AND you’re also not breaking down in front of your professor. Remember to keep your relationship professional!
Go to office hours: showing that you care about the material in the class may help improve your grade and relationship with your professor. At the same time, you may learn more than you think you know.
Don’t worry: if doing these things doesn’t fix your concerns, don’t freak out. Keep doing what you’re doing and try your best. Talk to someone higher up in the department, study and work hard and pair up with someone else in the class to compare your work. It’s not the end of the world, and you will survive at the end! I always say, “It will all be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, then it isn’t the end.”
For more articles on dealing with everyday college issues, check out how to handle parking tickets. If this is your first time going away to college, check out this article on understanding the move-in process and this article on what you should be bringing to your first day of class!