College Professor Pet Peeves

It’s important for college students to remember that whether they’re in a class with twenty students or a class with 100 students, their professor is still human. Professors get annoyed just as easily as anyone else, so it’s crucial to be on your best behavior at all times. Respect and manners go a long way in a college environment, so remember what your mother taught you. Here’s some pet peeves almost all professors share.

Cell Phones

This one is pretty obvious. No one likes being interrupted by a phone ringing, especially professors. Leave your phone in your room or put it on silent. And no matter how inconspicuous you think you’re being while texting, you’re probably not. Professors aren’t stupid. If your hands are under the desk and you keep glancing down at your lap, something is obviously going on.

Being late all the time

Most professors will understand if you come to class late once or twice, but do not make a habit of it. It disrupts class. Even if you think you can sneak in unnoticed, at least half the class is going to hear you. They’ll inevitably turn and stare, and there goes everyone’s attention. And no matter what you do, don’t feel the need to interrupt even further and give your professor a longwinded explanation. Save it for after class, if you must.

Skipping class

Nothing says, I don’t care about your class like not showing up. Professors take their classes and their subject matter seriously. Even if you think you will be able to pass the class without going, go anyway. And if you know you can’t make it to class for some reason, send an email to let them know.

Late or sloppy work

You will get a syllabus at the beginning of the course. On said syllabus will be assignments and due dates for the entire semester. So excuses like I didn’t know about the paper or I thought it was due tomorrow aren’t going to fly. Keep track of assignments and make sure they are done on time. If you’re going to miss class the day a paper is due, turn it in early. If that isn’t possible, send it with someone else in the class. Do whatever you have to do. Also, make sure it looks neat. No professor will take a paper seriously if it’s covered in Cheeto stains or looks like it’s been shoved in a book for a week. Print it out, staple it, and put it somewhere safe until you turn it in.

Cancelling or being late to appointments

Your professor is even busier than you, so don’t expect them to be happy if you waste their time. If something comes up and you absolutely have to cancel an appointment, do not (I repeat, do not) do it at the last minute. And don’t ever be late. Chances are, they have another appointment or something pressing to do after they’re done with you.

Not getting help when you need it

Professors aren’t trying to make you fail, even if they’re making the class hard. They just want to challenge you. If you’re having trouble, don’t be afraid to seek help. Especially on smaller campuses, professors actually like to give you a hand. Lots of times they will have certain hours they are in their offices, so stop by or set up an appointment. If you can’t meet up with your professor, ask around and see if there are tutors in the department. Your professor will cut you a lot more slack when grading if he knows you made an effort to get help.

Eating in class

This isn’t a problem with all professors. In fact, many of them don’t care. Lots of them will understand that their students are on a busy schedule and may not have time to eat lunch unless they bring it to class. However, some will get testy. So before you whip out your sandwich or chips, make sure it’s okay. Typically the professors that aren’t okay with you eating in class will say so within the first week, but if you aren’t sure, ask. If nothing else, they will appreciate your courtesy.