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Eight Professors You’ll Meet in College

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

While every college experience is unique, certain aspects are universal. Below are the eight professors you’ve either had, have now or will have in the near future.

1. No One Professor Should Have All That Power

Some people would let the world burn if they could be king of the ashes. They seem scary because they ARE. They demand a lot and yet it still might not be enough. These professors can typically be identified fairly early on in a class, as they typically mention either in the syllabus or first class that “NO ONE gets an A in my class!”.

2. The Technologically-Challenged

They might be a professor in the journalism school or other media related majors, but that doesn’t mean they have any idea how to turn their projector on nor will they ever learn, instead insisting a student come to the front of the room and do it for them. Every. Single. Class. They probably also insist on handwritten notes and refuse to put your grades online, instead of saying that you should talk to them about your grades personally.

3. The New Age

They’re not like a regular professor. They’re a cool professor. Or at the very least, they want to be. If it’s a lecture class, they probably teach solely through the Socratic method. If it’s more of an art or workshop class, they probably have some sort of beginning ritual for the class, such as everyone standing in a circle and stretching to music. Depending on your personal preference, they can be your favorite or least favorite professor.

4. The TA

They’re not technically your professor, yet they’re the one you probably have the most contact with. Sometimes they’re incredible teachers with such a great knowledge in their field, you’re blown away by just how young they actually are. Sometimes, they clearly know as much about a subject as you do. Either way, they mostly just look tired (because wow, imagine having to take classes AND teach them, too).

5. The ‘Chill’ One

Can usually be spotted by beginning the semester with a statement along the lines of, “If you’re cool with me, I’ll be cool with you”. Sometimes they can be great if they’re understanding about assignment concerns or willing to adjust the course to fit students needs. But, this category also includes the professors who are vague on assignment requirements, don’t follow the syllabus and leave you stressed out as the final exam approaches.

6. The Braggart

This professor just loves to hear the sound of their own voice. Every class is an opportunity to show off their knowledge on a subject or to “impress” the class with a joke (note: it’s rarely ever funny). These professors tend to go off on tangents or share personal stories that leave you at the end of class going, “Wait, what did we learn again?”.

7. The Invisible Professor

Maybe it’s a professor for an online class. Maybe it’s a professor who simply oversees a group of TAs who teach the course. Maybe they’re just never in their office. But, catching a glimpse of this professor is like finding Bigfoot, a rare find that probably none of your classmates will believe you actually encountered.

8. The Best One

While most of these categories have been negative, bad professors are generally the exception, not the rule. Most genuinely care about their subjects and their students. They might be great at teaching or have a creative way to keep students engaged in the material. They might be willing to give extra credit opportunities or adjust the syllabus to help students. Typically, the best professors are the ones that keep an open dialogue with their students, treat them as equals, and genuinely listen to them.

For better or worse, you’ll encounter these professors soon. Best to be prepared before you do.

Bri Hamlin

South Carolina '19

Hello, it's Bri (to the tune of Adele please). I am a senior at USC Columbia and am not currently thirty, flirty, and thriving, but twenty-one, anxious, and trying will sure do.