How to impress a tough professor

There’s a lot to worry about when you enroll in college. Will you get along with the people in your dorm? Will you find your classes too hard? Will you get homesick? These are the kind of questions that concern many freshmen during their first few weeks. Of course, college is a big step in anyone’s life, so it’s normal to be anxious. However, one thing plenty of students don’t anticipate is what to do when faced with a tough professor. Not every educator is on your side at college, and winning some of them over can be a challenge.

Don’t skip class

When you have a tough professor, the last thing you want to do is give them a reason to dislike you. Failing to attend their classes certainly won’t win you any favors, so keeping your attendance at 100% is a great way to stay on their good side. They might not notice you if you’re there, but they’ll definitely know if you’re absent. This is particularly important for the first class of the year where they’ve yet to form an opinion of you.


Tell them when you’re absent

If there’s a time when you’re unable to make a class, never forget to tell your professor. Explain why you’re away and perhaps ask if there’s anything you need to read or do to prepare for their next class. Showing a dedication to catching up on what you’ve missed out on is always a good idea. The professor will appreciate the communication and know you’re not skipping class. Just don’t do it too often; otherwise, they might become suspicious.

Open up communication

When a professor seems strict or opinionated, talking to them can seem like a bad idea. After all, they’ll surely shoot down anything they disagree with and blacklist you for the rest of the year, right? Well, not necessarily. As much as some professors may be set in their ways, they always appreciate students who ask questions and aren’t afraid to debate things. It shows a willingness to learn, and that’s something educators typically admire.

Ask for assistance

Usually, if a professor is referred to as tough, it means that they’re hard to please. They’ll typically give their students lower marks because they’re very picky about when they give out good grades. This can be incredibly frustrating, but it should never be taken to heart. Instead, you should approach the professor after class and ask why you got the mark you did. More often than not, they’ll answer your questions and appreciate your desire to improve. Just remember that if you disagree with some of their comments, don’t tell them that they’re wrong.


Always be present

Just because you show up to class every day, that doesn’t mean you’re actually present. If you’re slumped in your seat staring at your phone, it’s obvious you don’t want to be there. While professors might have plenty of students to focus on, you can be sure that they notice how everyone behaves in their class. If they see someone isn’t listening to what they’re saying, they won’t bother showing them any kindness. Unless you want to be left in the cold when you’re struggling with an assignment, you should probably set a good impression while you can.

Every professor’s different, which means some are far easier to please than others. However, as long as you don’t give anyone a reason to dislike you, things should work out fine in the end.