12 Strategies To Help You Survive A Semester With A Terrible Professor

12 Strategies To Help You Survive A Semester With A Terrible Professor

These will come in handy, I'm sure.


As the spring semester comes begins, we are all adjusting to new experiences. The start of a fresh semester brings about several things: new courses, new internships, new motivations, new well-rested mindsets, and new professors. Every once in a while, you get stuck with a terrible professor and I mean TERRIBLE. This professor has a glaring reputation across campus; upperclassmen tell you horror stories about this individual and the reviews on Rate My Professor are so bad that they cannot possibly be true. Unfortunately, you quickly learn that they are, indeed, true.

So, you're stuck with this terrible professor due to a schedule conflict, or the fact that this exact course is required for your degree and they are the only professor teaching it. Thus, you must tough it out. Every class that you complete is joyfully crossed off of your syllabus as you realize you are another step closer to finishing the semester where your life will be free of this terrible professor.

Here are 12 tips for you to keep in mind in order to successfully survive a semester with that terrible professor. While it will most certainly be challenging, you will be okay. Everyone has to deal with difficult people at some points in time.

1. Keep an open mind

Even though everyone on campus seems to know this professor's reputation, you should never judge until you have experienced the class yourself. Who knows... maybe you will end up liking them?

2. Maintain focus in class

While it can be easy to lose motivation and become distracted in a class where you have a not-so-great prof, you should always try your best to stay focused because you still need to do well in the class.

3. Don't believe everything you hear

So all of the horror stories and reviews on Rate My Professor may or may not be totally accurate. There really is no way for you to tell. Additionally, people are more likely to complain rather than express gratitude. In other words, if a professor is good, the chances of a student giving them great ratings or talking about them are not as high as compared to when a professor is bad.

4. Work even harder than you would in any other class

It may be very difficult to please the terrible professor, but maybe that is because they just have very high expectations or even different requirements than what the typical professor maintains for their students. As a result, you should use this challenge as a motivation to work even harder in an attempt to meet their standards. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.

5. Make friends in your class

Befriending your peers in this class has two definite pros. First, you will be more motivated to go to class because you will get to see your friends. Second, you will have a few people who understand your thoughts, feelings, concerns, and frustrations about this class because they are also experiencing it firsthand.

6. Complete all of your work

Don't fall behind in the workload because that will just make the class even more unbearable.

7. Go to your professor's office hours

I know this sounds absolutely horrible especially if you are not super thrilled about taking this professor's course to begin with. However, when you are in a one-on-one setting with them, the dynamics can be very different. You may learn how to connect with this terrible professor and that can be very beneficial.

8. Prioritize self-care

This is something that you should definitely get into the habit of doing no matter what the circumstances are. Self-care is important so that you can remain in a motivated, positive mindset.

9. Remember that everyone is different

Some personalities just do not mesh. People are varied and that is okay.

10. This is not the only time that you will run into difficult people 

The world is full of difficult people, so this experience is great exposure for you to see how you choose to handle similar situations that you may be faced with.

11. Understand that professors are there to help you

They would not be a professor if they did not love the subject that they are teaching or if they did not want to impact lives in some aspect.

12. Realize that everything is a learning experience

Even if this is the worst period of your college experience and you would never want to do it again, you are learning a lot about yourself through this process. This terrible professor experience is impacting you in more ways than you may think while you are going through it.

13. You can't change the situation, but you CAN change how you react to it

This is your professor for the duration of the semester; there's no changing that. The only thing that can change is your attitude about the situation, and keeping a positive mindset about the reality of your situation can make a huge difference. Before you know it, the semester will be over!

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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5 Questions You Shouldn't Ask An Art Major

You definitely should never ask or say these five questions unless you want to trigger an art major.


Listen, being an art major isn't all fun and games. We work for long hours on our projects. We get paint all over our clothes. We accidentally cut ourselves with our x-acto knives. We run out of paper to print the night before a big project.

We get critiqued in front of all your peers by your professors. Well maybe those things don't happen to all of us but they sure have happened to me. Non-art majors swear being an art major is the easiest thing in the entire world but they just don't understand what it is really like.

1. "All you do is art and crafts, how hard can it be?"

If it was all just art and crafts, do you think I would complain about the harsh critiques I get from my professors and the late nights on my laptop finishing my final portfolio. Being an art major isn't making the stuff that you pin on your art and crafts board on Pinterest. I'm not saying that isn't art but that's not the type of stuff we create. We create art that makes us think, makes a statement, shows emotion, etc.

2. "What are you going to do with that?"

This question triggers every college student so why do you think it's going to be different for an art major. You hate it every holiday season when your family members ask you that same question about your degree so stop asking us. We are obviously going to become an artist in our field that we specialize in just like you will in your career and degree field.

3. "Will you do it for free?"

As a photographer, many of my friends ask me to do photoshoots for them, their organization that they participate in, and other stuff. Almost every single time, they never ask me if I want them to pay nor do I expect them to ask me at this point.

It would be nice if they thought about the time I take out of my day to take the photos and edit the photos. Of course I will always do it for them cause I love my friends to death but the thought would mean a lot.

4. "You know you aren't going to have any money, right?"

Well yes I obviously know I'm not going to be making 100K a year for selling my art. If I wanted to make big money, I would doing some boring job in a small cubicle doing accounting or something like that. I'm doing this career path that I don't care how much money I make because I love it and have a real passion for.

5. "Why aren't you dressed more like an art major?"

First of all, what does an art major even dress like? I guess people expect us to all dress like that cool and alternative trendy hipster. Some of us dress really cute. Some of us dress really weird.

Some of us of dress in sweats. We dress just like every other college student. Sometimes I even wish I could dress like a cool and alternative trendy hipster but we don't have to dress like that just to be an art major.

Despite all the stereotypes given to art majors, I really do love being an art major. I love the long hours of taking, developing, and editing photos. It is one of the best decision I have ever made and wouldn't trade it for the world. Can we please stop with these questions though? They really get annoying after a while when everyone asks us the same things. So next time you start to question an art major, just don't ask.

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