5 Things I Wish My Professor Actually Told Me At The Beginning Of The Semester

We’ve all been there. You sign up for a class and automatically you look at the time and professor for the class. BIO 240 at 8 am. Pass. MKT 350 with Johns. Go on ratemyprofessor.com and sees he requires a 30-page end of term paper. Tempting but pass. After a couple hours of stressing out, you finally select classes that match your schedule and also professors you think will work best for you.

But wouldn’t you like professors to be honest off the bat with you? There have been many times I selected a professor and thought it would work out great and the class became worse than forgetting to grab my glorious cup of coffee in the morning. I wish I could have read my professor’s mind. Here are 5 Things I wish my professor actually told me at the beginning of the semester.

1. “Yes, the $150 textbook is mandatory for the one time we will be using it”

You buy a book for the semester expecting to use it every day and that’s not the case. If you’re lucky the professor may mention a single passage in the book you paid at least a $100 dollars for. If you are not lucky you decide not to buy the textbook and that one passage you need to read is the sole part of a test worth 25% of your grade.

2. “Hate group work? Good, because 80% of this class structure uses it”

GROUP WORK IS A CURSE AND A BLESSING. Group work is great for working in the real world and seeing how to perform in teams. But in college group work has 4 types of people usually in it. The leader. The confused soul. The slacker. And last but not least the person who seriously regrets getting put into this terrible group. If professors were honest and said that the class structure is based on group work it would allow people who hate it to get out while they can.

3. “Don’t plan on me going to my office hours unless you tell me you will be attending”

Lol, office hours. More often than not professors will ask you to tell them that you need to attend their office hours so they will go. But there are those professors that don’t work like that. Not all professors are the same and it’s always safe to assume that professors have a life and really don’t wanna sit in their office hours if no one is going to show up.

4. “Test scores may be entered between 2 hours-2 weeks. Please do not bother asking me when they will be in. It will not make me move faster.”

As if you were not stressed enough all professors have different time periods of grading tests. MC tests? Probably will be put in blackboard an hour after you take it. Essay tests? Don’t hold your breath on these. If professors could say, “I am a slow grader… sorry not sorry” the anxiety of waiting for the test grades would be a lot easier to take.

And last but most importantly what I wish professors told me at the beginning…

5. “Don’t stress out over this class. Chances are I will be understanding and willing to help”

Professors really do want to help you. Their job is to teach students the best they can but sometimes students don’t feel this way. If I was a professor I would lead every single one of my semesters saying this. Professors should try and make students feel at ease and relaxed throughout the semester.

May the odds be ever in your favor this fall for getting good professors and good classes (I’ll be there with ya).

Anna Flahaven

Editorial Contributor, Grand Valley State University Major: Marketing Her heart belongs to: Caramel Macchiatos, her Yorkie Lionel, and Scary Movies. Her guilty pleasures: Friday Night Lights, belting Elton John at 2 in the morning, and jalapeno cheetos.

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