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5 Weird Things Professors Need to Stop Doing

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

The one thing on which all college students can agree is that professors are a really, really odd bunch. Were they born this strange, and professor was the only job they could get?  Was their quirkiness a requirement for the job?  Or did getting this position forever change them?  While the “absentminded professor” personality can sometimes be endearing, there are a few habits that cross the line.

1. Complaining about people eating in class.

One thing I don’t think I’ll ever understand is when professors take it personally when people bring food into their classes.  We all have to eat, even—especially—on days when we have several classes in a row.  The fact that I’m eating in class does not mean I don’t plan on paying attention.  Actually, I sometimes need to eat in order to pay enough attention to get anything out of the class. As long as someone doesn’t eat in a way that disrupts the class, I think professors should let this one slide.

2. Making jokes about people walking in late. 

It’s already embarrassing enough to walk in during the middle of a lecture and have to push aside classmates in order to get a seat.  You don’t need a professor to draw attention to something you and the entire class are already well aware of. Besides, if a student walks in late, it might harm the student’s grade, but it won’t hurt the professor.  Just let the student experience the consequences of their tardiness and let it go.

3. Political rants that have nothing to do with the material.

I don’t particularly mind getting off topic; it can be fun sometimes.  I don’t even mind some political commentary, as long as it has something to do with the material.  But if a professor regularly goes off on political tangents in, say, a language class, it gets annoying.  We all have our own opinions, and it’s our job to educate ourselves on subjects unrelated to school. It doesn’t help us to know what the professor believes.

4. Swearing in order to sound cool.

Ok, I admit that this one can be slightly endearing… at first. It can be somewhat amusing to watch a fifty plus person attempt to relate to college students.  A little bit of swearing can show that the professor is trying to create a casual environment, but it becomes really obvious when they are doing it just to sound hip.  There are other and better, ways to come across as relatable.

5. Talking about their sex lives.

Thankfully, this has only happened to me twice, but both incidents were scarring.  I don’t know what the professors were trying to accomplish by sharing what goes down in their bedrooms.  It certainly didn’t help me like them more or learn the material better.  Instead, it made me want to bolt from the classroom and never look the professor in the eye again.  Professors are certainly allowed to have sex lives, but it’s weird, creepy, and uncomfortable when they share this with students. 

Some professors are so quirky that when they try to act relatable it just makes things worse.  Though annoying as this can be, college just wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for nutty professors.  We’d run out of party stories and get bored in class.  As long as the professor is trying their best and really cares for the students, they’re on the right track. 


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Sarah "Kathleen" Lupu is a senior studying psychology at Boston University. She grew up in Bucharest, Romania and holds both Romanian and American citizenships.
Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.