6 Types of College Professors You are bound to Meet

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When you’re in college or university, your professors have a huge influence on your experience. Young college students like to have a good time. They like to party, attend university events, and of course, party some more. These experiences make for some of the best college stories. Stories like the time my drunk roommate had a sudden bout of homesickness. He spent good 5 minutes on the phone before realizing he was talking to
Hughesnet customer service, not his mom in Minnesota. Point is, having a great time at college is a huge part of the college experience. But the most important part is still in the classroom. Every course you take, you place yourself in the hands of a veteran of knowledge, your professor.

It’s always amusing how different academics have their own different quirks.

10 College Professors You will Come Across

Some profs are fantastic to work with. Others are very difficult to manage. Still, others lie somewhere in between. As a student, your job is to maintain a good relationship with your professors, regardless of which type they fall in. Trust me, this will really improve your class experience. It’s not even that difficult. All you have to do is show up to class, prepared, respectful and ready to learn. This goes a long way when it comes to getting recommendations for internships, programs abroad or even grad school. That being said, here are some of the most stereotypical professors and academics you will come across:

  1. The Scatter Brained Type
  2. The Scary One
  3. The Not as Scary 
  4. The Mind-Blowing Sort
  5. The Gruff 
  6. The Intellectual Equal

Here’s a closer look at these quirky academics.

The Scatter Brained Type

Every student comes across this professor at least once. Absent-minded profs are a long-running cliché but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You’ll likely meet a professor who is absolutely brilliant when it comes to his or her subject. The prof can keep track of complex researches, deliver riveting lectures and articulates wonderfully. On the other hand, the prof probably needed that haircut four months ago, and can’t find the glasses hanging from his or her neck.

The Scary One

Most professors seem less intimidating as the semester progresses. You learn to look past the tough exterior to the brilliant mind instead. But some professors only get scarier as the course goes on. Terrifying professors can really give you a tongue lashing if you’re caught unprepared. So don’t be tempted to act like the class clown in this professor’s class.

The Not as Scary 

There are scary professors and then there are professors who only look the part. A professor can seem terrifying at the beginning of the course but turn out to be a great person on the inside. This professor is most likely to understand why you need an extension on your deadline. You can count on him or her being a warm person with a desire to share knowledge and nurture young minds. If you can catch them one-on-one during office hours, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback or discuss tricky parts of the lecture.

The Mind-Blowing Sort

You usually come across professors who are mild-mannered academics most of the time. But every once in a while, you come across a maverick. There are few of these around. But prepare for the intellectual ride of your life if you’re lucky enough to find one. This professor will take your worldview apart, shred it, blend it and put it back together. When you step out of the lecture, you will never be the same again.

The Gruff 

Most professors care deeply about how they conduct classes and if their students are progressing. They tend to put in a lot of work preparing for classes and trying to make them valuable. However, there is sometimes a professor who just doesn’t seem to care. A professor who may just be going through the motions and not imparting any real knowledge. You can’t get a hold of him after class, and you’re never really clear on the assignments and coursework. Pro tip: get on good terms with the T.A. for feedback and guidance.

The Intellectual Equal

This is one of the most fun and rewarding professors you will come across. Most professors do treat you like adults, no question about that. But there are a select few who treat their students as intellectual equals. The value your input, treat you as a peer and go beyond the yes/no. Such professors are most likely to have an actual, intellectual conversation with you about the merits or demerits of an idea.

When you’re a student, you have to make the most of what you get. Whether its Hughesnet bundles or ramen noodles, you have to be accommodating. The same applies to professors. All professors are on one level or another, silos of knowledge. It is up to you how you can get them to gain access to that knowledge. Remember there are good professors and not so good ones. Likewise, there are good students and not so good ones. It’s a two-way street.

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