The start of a new year means the beginning of another semester. No matter what final grades we received last semester, the past is in the past and we’ve been given a clean slate.
After three weeks of no school-related stress, many of us may find it difficult to get back into focus mode. Whether we are ready to face them, our days of sleeplessness and relentless studying have returned.
The most daunting part of a new semester for me is starting over with new professors. Unfamiliarity is not something that sits well with me, although I understand I will be constantly faced with it throughout life. Just as I begin to understand my professors’ personalities and expectations, the semester ends.
I encountered a professor last semester who changed me. He not only gave me knowledge about English, but he also helped me to gain knowledge about myself. It was bittersweet to come to the realization that I will never have his class again.
But ready or not, it is time to meet the professors who have my fate in their hands for the next four months, and I’ve decided to give them each a fair chance.
Ratemyprofessors.com is a popular website students use to give them an idea of what to expect from future instructors. Although the website is somewhat accurate, I’ve learned it is best to form an opinion of professors once I meet them and understand for myself how they operate. It would save students unneeded intimidation if they avoided using the website altogether.
After completing each semester, I go on ratemyprofessors.com and find that many of the frightening reviews students post are false.
A student’s opinion of a professor varies according to interest level of the course and the amount of effort he or she is putting into the class. Students who find a class difficult might come to the conclusion that their instructor is out to get them, which is usually not true.
Future students may miss out on an outstanding professor simply because they took a stranger’s advice on a website to heart.
I have also learned the importance of looking out for professors who have high reviews. Reading comments has shown me that some students give professors high ratings if their class was easy to pass. Although simple classes are a good thought, I’d much rather be faced with challenges than have the ability to float through with no effort. If I’m paying for my education, I want to get as much as I can out of it.
As the first week of classes commences, I encourage students to keep their minds open. Give yourselves time to get to know your professors instead of immediately believing what others have to say.
Imagine how it would feel to walk into a classroom of people who already have preconceived notions before even meeting you. It’s not fair.
Never let the ratings on ratemyprofessors.com be your sole method for choosing professors. If you do, you may miss out on the opportunity to learn from some great people.