So I just graduated in May and if I learned any skills during my time in college it would be knowing when a class just isn’t going to work out for me. In the beginning, i was the type to try and stick it out until the end but I realized that was a dumb move. If something is wrong, drop the class or you’ll be miserable for the whole semester. Since it’s back to school season, I’ve put together a short list of things to look for when deciding whether to stay in a class.
Syllabus looks fishy
You’ll come across classes where the syllabus is just utter trash. For example, I’ve been handed a syllabus that was only the front side of one page and it was basically just a list of materials we needed. There was nothing about exam dates, grading scale, or attendance policy. The professor also didn’t mention any of those things during the first meeting. I don’t like going into a class blind and I don’t like not knowing what to expect.
Another example would be a class that has way too many assignments or too many things due at one time outlined in the syllabus. My worst class ever had a long paper due the day of the final exam. That doesn’t sound so bad until you realize you won’t have time to study for the exam if you’re focused on doing the paper. Not to mention you probably have three or four other classes you’re studying for as well.
Professor doesn’t upload their lecture slides
I don’t know if this is true for most schools, but most professors at my school chose to upload course materials on a website for students to access after class. Now, I know this point sounds a bit whiny but because most students these days take their notes on computers or tablets, professors feel it unnecessary to upload slides. This is because they feel people with computers should be able to type the information fast enough. But for people like me who prefer to write out notes on paper, we get left in the dust especially when teachers breeze through slides like there’s no tomorrow.
Professor reads off their slides
I had a professor for economics one semester that admitted to the class that his TAs created his PowerPoints so he basically just read whatever they had written. It made me question whether he really knew the material. Needless to say, I stopped going to class and really only showed up for the exams. If the professor isn’t even going to put in the time to create his own learning material then..why am I here?
Professor treats you weird or differently
This applies more to a smaller lecture or seminar, but it has definitely happened to me. I had a professor that I knew for a FACT did not like me for whatever reason. When I would answer questions in class, she would act really dismissive or uninterested and then turn around and praise the next person who basically said the same thing. I knew from the beginning that something was off, but I stuck in the class until the very end which was a huge mistake. I was uncomfortable throughout the whole semester and at one point just stop talking altogether. On exam day, every person that turned in their paper was told by her to have a nice break. She didn’t say anything to me when I went up, so I took it upon myself to say it first. Instead of returning the sentiment, she just stared at my face with the blankest stare. I know incidents like these don’t happen very often, but if you get bad vibes from a professor and the class isn’t mandatory for your major, it may be in your best interest to drop it.
Until next time,
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