What To Do When You Get A Bad College 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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So, You Want To Be A Nurse?

You're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.


To the college freshman who just decided on nursing,

I know why you want to be a nurse.

Nurses are important. Nursing seems fun and exciting, and you don't think you'll ever be bored. The media glorifies navy blue scrubs and stethoscopes draped around your neck, and you can't go anywhere without hearing about the guaranteed job placement. You passed AP biology and can name every single bone in the human body. Blood, urine, feces, salvia -- you can handle all of it with a straight face. So, you think that's what being a nurse is all about, right? Wrong.

You can search but you won't find the true meaning of becoming a nurse until you are in the depths of nursing school and the only thing getting you through is knowing that in a few months, you'll be able to sign the letters "BSN" after your name...

You can know every nursing intervention, but you won't find the true meaning of nursing until you sit beside an elderly patient and know that nothing in this world can save her, and all there's left for you to do is hold her hand and keep her comfortable until she dies.

You'll hear that one of our biggest jobs is being an advocate for our patients, but you won't understand until one day, in the middle of your routine physical assessment, you find the hidden, multi-colored bruises on the 3-year-old that won't even look you in the eyes. Your heart will drop to your feet and you'll swear that you will not sleep until you know that he is safe.

You'll learn that we love people when they're vulnerable, but you won't learn that until you have to give a bed bath to the middle-aged man who just had a stroke and can't bathe himself. You'll try to hide how awkward you feel because you're young enough to be his child, but as you try to make him feel as comfortable as possible, you'll learn more about dignity at that moment than some people learn in an entire lifetime.

Every class will teach you about empathy, but you won't truly feel empathy until you have to care for your first prisoner in the hospital. The guards surrounding his room will scare the life out of you, and you'll spend your day knowing that he could've raped, murdered, or hurt people. But, you'll walk into that room, put your fears aside, and remind yourself that he is a human being still, and it's your job to care, regardless of what he did.

Each nurse you meet will beam with pride when they tell you that we've won "Most Trusted Profession" for seventeen years in a row, but you won't feel that trustworthy. In fact, you're going to feel like you know nothing sometimes. But when you have to hold the sobbing, single mother who just received a positive breast cancer diagnosis, you'll feel it. Amid her sobs of wondering what she will do with her kids and how she's ever going to pay for treatment, she will look at you like you have all of the answers that she needs, and you'll learn why we've won that award so many times.

You'll read on Facebook about the nurses who forget to eat and pee during their 12-hour shifts and swear that you won't forget about those things. But one day you'll leave the hospital after an entire shift of trying to get your dying patient to eat anything and you'll realize that you haven't had food since 6:30 A.M. and you, too, will be one of those nurses who put everything else above themselves.

Too often we think of nursing as the medicine and the procedures and the IV pumps. We think of the shots and the bedpans and the baths. We think all the lab values and the blood levels that we have to memorize. We think it's all about the organs and the diseases. We think of the hospitals and the weekends and the holidays that we have to miss.

But, you're going to find that nursing isn't really about the medicine or the assessments. Being a nurse is so much more than anything that you can learn in school. Textbooks can't teach you compassion, and no amount of lecture time will teach you what it truly means to be a nurse.

So, you think you want to be a nurse?

Go for it. Study. Cry. Learn everything. Stay up late. Miss out on things. Give it absolutely everything that you have.

Because I promise you that the decision to dedicate your life to saving others is worth every sleepless night, failed test, or bad day that you're going to encounter during these next four years. Just keep holding on.


The nursing student with just one year left.

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Yes, TRF Is A Real Major

My homework may be to watch movies, but it's still homework.


I understand that many people don't consider watching numerous movies a week your typical homework, but for me it is. Here at Syracuse University, I'm a Television, Radio, and Film (TRF) major. When I announced I was going to Syracuse I was still undecided but in the school of communications. I went undecided because I couldn't decide between photography or TRF, but a lot of people at home didn't understand that.

My grandparents always had big dreams for their grandkids. However, those dreams were always something like a doctor or lawyer, something to achieve the parts of the American dream they never fully did. Unfortunately, when they found out I wanted to go into communications they became worried. I don't regret my choice of my major at all, I'm actually kind of obsessed with it, but it's not easy hearing everyone talk down about your major.

Some people were less concerned when they heard I was going to Syracuse, who has one of the top communication programs in the country. My grandpa's reaction quickly changed when he was able to tell his friends his granddaughter would be a Newhouse student. I couldn't imagine the reactions I would have gotten if I had chosen a smaller or lesser-known school, I don't know if I would have felt as proud as I did.

Which is pretty surprising, because if you know me then you know I never shut up about TRF.

I love my major, but it's hard when people think all I do is watch TV and never do real work. I've spent plenty of late nights on set, analyzing films, or trying to figure out the next scene in my script. There's just as much work in my major as any other major.

Maybe the confusion is because I'm still unsure as to where I want to go with my degree. I don't have a focus yet, or a clear end goal, but I know I've loved every TRF class I've taken so far, so at least I'm in the right major.

Basically, I just want everyone to respect my major and know I didn't go to school just to watch movies.

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