Four Common Misconceptions Of College Professors

By: Hannah Hall, Freshman at Azusa Pacific University

We have all been there, you’ve applied, you’ve been accepted, and you have finally chosen the college of your dreams (hopefully). But what about the professors. Are they mean? Are the horror stories you’ve heard in high school true? Do they really lock you out if you’re late? Well, I am here to dispel some of those myths. So listen up.

MISCONCEPTION #1: Professors are out to fail you and they enjoy making you struggle.

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This is far from the truth. But, as I discovered asking fellow university peers and teachers, this is a common fear among incoming students. Jessica Sherer, a communication studies professor at Azusa Pacific University states that she “truly cares about her students and wants them to succeed”. Many, and most university level professors go into their profession because they are looking to help bring up the next generation in their field. So do not be afraid young seniors and incoming college freshmen, the professors that you will have, have worked hard for their positions, and are not going to let you fail! As Dr. Musa from Azusa Pacific University states, “We are committed to the success of our students.”

MISCONCEPTION #2: They are unapproachable.


When thinking about what to write for this blog post I asked many students what fears they had coming into college. This was a huge one. Many said they were afraid that teachers would have a “holy-er than thou” attitude, being too arrogant to take feedback or receive input from students. I personally, as well as my fellow classmates, have found this to be completely false. In my own experience my professors ask for input and welcome any ideas or topics that may be of interest to the student. Usually professors are active in the field they are teaching, meaning that they are still looking for answers to certain questions, problems, and maybe even their doctoral thesis. So how’s that for perspective, you are learning from your professor, but your professor can also learn from you!

MISCONCEPTION #3: They give busy work just for fun.

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Oh how this seems to be so true, doesn’t it? Jessica Sherer from Azusa Pacific University refutes this statement by saying, “We don’t like to grade work that doesn’t have a learning objective.” Although some assignments are not as significant to each student she says, professors try to create a variety of assignments to meet every student’s learning needs. The ultimate goal, Professor Sherer reveals, is not that the assignment be completed (although it’s highly suggested) but that students become better critical thinkers and self motivated learners. So next time there is a small group assignment, or an oral presentation that drives you up the wall, remember, There’s always something to be learned.

MISCONCEPTION #4: They don’t care if you show up.

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Many think that because you are in college you have the freedom to do exactly how you please and nobody will care. True, you could go zip lining off your dorm building, but really, would that be such a great idea? The same concept applies here. Professors understand that you are paying to go to school, your money, your time, right? They do, however, care enough about the subject they are teaching to want a student body. Like I said earlier, they want to further their field, and many have the goal of inspiring young students to take action on something you are passionate about. Technically, they don’t have to show up either. They could have picked another profession. So, next time you think a teacher won’t care about you showing up, just remember they are genuinely there for you and your benefit. Without you there would be no purpose to them coming to work every day. Bueller? Bueller?

So now hopefully you have a little more peace and are looking forward to starting this new chapter of your life next fall! Just remember… summer on Uranus lasts 21 years. So if you’re still dreading college and terrified out of your socks, maybe you could move there.

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One thought on “Four Common Misconceptions Of College Professors

  1. Hannah, up and coming! Funny, factual, and truthful.
    Concise and to the point. Gave me a good laugh. After
    seven summers in Redding California I wouldn’t care to
    move to Uranus!!

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