The 9 Professors You’ll Have In College

When watching movies or TV shows set in college, you’ve probably had a laugh at some of the professors on screen because, admit it, you’ve had ones just like them. Although most TV characters are based on stereotypes, many of them are inspired by reality. So while many of these professor types are oversimplified generalizations, chances are you’ll come across a professor with one or more of these characteristics. Check out our list of the nine professors you’ll have in college.

The Hot Professor

If a little eye candy isn’t an incentive to learn, then what is? Sometimes you’ll get a professor that makes you never want to miss a class, because then you’d miss out on seeing his gorgeous face every Tuesday and Thursday. Usually the hot professor isn’t just blessed with good looks, he’s got the whole package — charm, wit, smarts, and the perfect smile. Victoria*, a freshman at Douglas College, realized that while having a hot professor is fun, it has its downsides. “I actually looked forward to going to his classes [but] sometimes it made it hard to concentrate ‘cause I was just being like a little schoolgirl, thinking he was so hot.” Why scope out frat boys when you can look at your professor and learn something at the same time?

The Very-Close-To-Retirement Professor

You’re bound to get at least one old professor at some point in your college career. There are those professors whose classes benefit from years of experience, and then there are those profs who use every last bit of energy they have to resist the pull of retirement.

Whether they’re having trouble working the projector or forgetting what they were going on about, some students will find it cute or funny, while others might find it a bit annoying. Hannah, a sophomore at NYU, had an elderly professor who fit this stereotype. “He was constantly trailing off sentences, going off on tangents, a little out of touch with modern society,” says Hannah. “If a younger professor had acted the same way, it would have seemed completely unprofessional, but the class's general reaction was, ‘Aw, he's just like my grandpa!’”

The Professor Who Tries to Be Hip

These types of professors may be older, but they like to try to keep up with their students. In an attempt to try to connect with you and your classmates, they’ll throw pop culture references into their lectures — Jersey Shore this, Kim Kardashian that — and drop the latest slang every now and then. If they’re not talking about the latest Twitter trending topic, they’re singing YouTube’s latest viral hit. Sometimes even if they are really up to speed on the interests of our generation, their attempts to be “the cool professor” fall flat. Although professors like these are getting laughed at, instead of laughed with, you can’t fault them for trying!

The Dull Professor

It’s inevitable that you will experience the all-too-common snooze-inducing professor. Monotone voice? Check. Dry subject material? Check. Slowest and longest class ever? Definitely check.

Michelle, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, had a professor who seemed to specialize in boring. “The entire lecture consisted of him droning on and on in the most boring voice you could possibly imagine — it was near impossible to actually pay attention, let alone stay awake!” she says. “It was almost like his voice had some magical power to make a large room of college students fall asleep within a minute.”

Although no one has died from a boring lecture, it can make already boring material even more boring. The Dull Professor has the ability to slow down time and cause your eyelids to become heavy. Their monotonous voice seems to push into the deepest of daydreams (which, let’s be honest, is the only thing getting you through the class!).

The Eccentric Professor

For some reason, academia has no shortage of kooky personalities. Sometimes you get the oddball professors who add a little bit of color to an otherwise drab classroom. These professors’ eccentricity can range from just a few strange habits to completely bizarre behavior.  Roxanna, a junior at Hiram College, had a philosophy professor who wore a different Hawaiian shirt every day. “He told us that it was his life goal never to wear the same Hawaiian shirt twice during a single school year,” she says.

If they’re not dressed down in a Hawaiian shirt, they’ve got their best vagabond (or at least minimal effort) look going on. They might speak in riddles or encourage you to meditate in class. If they’re not impertinently starting the class with pictures of their taxonomy collection or speaking in riddles, they’re encouraging you to do certain yoga poses and meditation in your seat.

At least these professors make for good stories!