5 Types of Professors You Meet in College (And How To Handle Them)
First, there’s acceptance, tuition, and registration. Buying books and doing homework are time-and-money-consuming enough. But then there’s the issue of your college professor.
Whether you’re taking courses in-person or online, you’ll have to deal with them. Your college professor can be your guide and trusted Giver of Wisdom—or they can be an absolute nightmare.
What you learn, how you learn, the depth of your workload, and most importantly YOUR GRADE are all determined by this one person. So. Much. Pressure.
Learn how to deal with the 5 types of college professors you’ll meet on your journey (if you haven’t already!)
1. The Tough Gal (Or Guy)
This is the college professor every college student dreads. Still, the universe wouldn’t be in perfect order if you didn’t have at least one of this professor type.
The Tough Gal assigns two chapter readings and a quiz every week, with no opportunities for extra credit (of course.) “Make it work,” she says in her best Tim Gunn impression.
Her Goal: to force you to prioritize your work and get organized.
How to Deal: get your work done on time, and try to stand out from the class by engaging with her and your classmates (even online.) Get her to see that you’re a real person, with a real life, and she just might have some pity on you.
2. The Absentee
If you have this professor in person, you’ll often see the sign on the door: class canceled. Yay! At least, until the test rolls around. He’s never absent on those days.
Online, this professor never replies to email. Ever. Your questions go unanswered, even while grades still pop up in your Blackboard grade book.
His Goal: skate by on minimum effort, seems like.
How to Deal: do your work, stay under the radar, and reach out to your classmates with any questions you have. You’re all in this together, after all.
3. The Hot Mess
Maybe she’s new. Maybe she has a crazy home life. Whatever the case, this college professor always seems on edge, is always borrowing pens from students, and can never find the lecture notes she needs.
This professor could be brilliant, and yes, she shows up on time—but being in her classroom gives you anxiety.
Her Goal: just make it through the day, honestly.
How to Deal: first and foremost, be kind. You never know what she’s going through! Be conversational when appropriate, and have patience. Oh, and keep extra pens on you at all times.
4. The Genius
This is the college professor of Hollywood. Intelligent, thoughtful, and totally put-together. The Genius is the type who probably wrote your textbook. She sits on the board of nonprofits and spends summer vacation excavating archaeological sites.
She has a lot of wisdom to impart! If you have any interest in her research and subject matter at all, she’s the perfect professor to ask to mentor you.
Her Goal: save the world, and also change the way you see it for the rest of your life.
How to Deal: listen carefully, take lots of notes, and pay attention! Ask her to mentor you if you’re interested, or ask for a recommendation letter. She’s likely highly respected in her field.
5. The One Who Loves Group Projects
Who doesn’t love a good group project? This college professor type REALLY loves them. “Get together, meet people, and explore things in real life!” Sure, we all need to work on our people skills. But does he not realize how hard it is to coordinate a group project online?
His Goal: improve your communication skills, connect with people, and learn to operate with a team mentality.
How to Deal: Play the role you need to in the group to survive, and be a stand-up person when it comes to meeting deadlines and showing up for activities.
Can you think of any other professor types? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it.