To The College Professor Who Challenged Me
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To The College Professor Who Challenged Me

Whether it be the expectations set or the way the material was taught, there has always been that one professor that makes us question why we're in the class in the first place.

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To The College Professor Who Challenged Me

I'm sure at one point or another we had a professor that was just hard. Whether it be the expectations set or the way the material was taught, there has always been that one professor that makes us question why we're in the class in the first place.

In high school, it was the honors and AP teachers I had who challenged me to try new learning techniques.

Now, it's a college professor who just wants the best for me.

To fulfill my GenEd requirements, I decided to take a history/film studies class. I always liked watching moves with my parents when I was home, and I also like learning about world history. The class focused on Eastern Europe during state socialism. I was told by my adviser that the class would help broaden my horizon as I move more into my political science degree and concentrate on international issues.

The class was fairly easy, or at least that was my original thoughts. We had weekly readings we needed to accomplish prior to class and then we would watch a film that focused on the readings. Over the course of the semester, we had to write three response papers whenever we chose as long as we had two completed by Week 7 and the third completed by Week 14. No biggie.

I've always felt confident in my writing. Part of it due to being invented to present a paper I wrote my freshman year of college at Villanova University. Even back in high school, I was a fairly good writer.

The first response paper I got a C. I get that. A lot of people got Cs because they didn't know what exactly she was looking for, but she provided the first papers back. However, my first paper got lost in her inbox, so she never got it until I submitted my second paper.

The second response paper is a completely different story. I got a D. I didn't understand why. I felt confident in my writing and thought I responded to the best of my ability. When I finally received my second response paper, she wrote to see her after class.

We then decided it was best for me to come by her office hours to talk in full depth about the paper, as well as cover what I wanted to do for my final project. And to say I was terrified is an understatement. It was like my whole college career was flashing in front of me. I was afraid of getting kicked out. I was afraid of not being able to go to law school. I was afraid of failing.

It was so bad I spent days leading up to the meeting crying to my mom over the phone about it.

Finally, the dreaded day had arrived. I had butterflies in my stomach and felt nausea walking to her office due to how high my anxiety was. Every worst case scenario was popping into my head as I went to face my fate.

If only I knew that talking to her would end up being the greatest thing to happen. We analyzed my entire paper, she often asking what my thought process was behind my writing. She mentioned that she wanted me to succeed, so she was here to help me. We both came to realize that my writing style that caused me to fail was due to the poor teaching habits I had learned from my freshman English teacher. He taught a sloppy style of writing that barely based the minimum, as well as being extremely too close to plagiarism. I was taught to take short cuts rather than doing the entirety of the work, even if it isn't explicitly written down.

After we were done talking, we both just couldn't believe what this professor had taught me. We just kind of laughed at it. She let me rewrite the paper I had failed, so I could bring up my grade, which is something I'm very grateful for.

Since that day, I have begun feeling more confident in my ability as a college student and validated that I deserve to be here. She has made me feel more confident in my ability as a college student but reminded me that every professor is different, so it's okay to ask for clarification. Even though her class was one of the toughest I've ever had, it's only helped me become a better college student.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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