When selecting classes, it is alwqys the best idea to choose the class you know for sure you will pass, and that fate is narrowed down to the difficulty of a professor’s teaching. When my friend Cherise was registering for classes, she told me that she would not be taking a required physics course this semester because, according to Rate My Professor and other fellow students, the professor for the class would be “the absolute worst thing to happen to [her] GPA.” Out of curiosity, I looked him up on Rate My Professor. He had an overall 2.5/5 rating, and while I scrolled through the reviews under his name, only two or three reviews rated him over 4.0.
One of these reviews caught my attention. It went along the lines of something like “This guy may be the most difficult, unbearable professors I have ever taken, but his ruthlessness is the reason I feel more confident as an engineer major. People who aren’t willing to put effort in the difficulty of a class won’t put much effort in anything else.” I myself am not an engineer major, but this review has been rolling around in my head ever since…Is it really a curse to have “hard” professors in our lives?
A hard professor is somebody who makes their lectures excruciatingly long, assigns homework and essays that will devour your free time and ignite your mind with furious flames of stress, and forces you to accept the fact that you might not get an A in the class. While this is indeed a nightmare, there isn’t a problem with this. If such a teacher is a choice for a class, especially for a class that is required for your major, would it not be a blessing for you to be in an environment where tou are challenged, pushed, and better informed of a subject that is relevant to you?
Granted, you might not have time to take work around a heavy workload of assignments, projects, and essays (it is understandable if you are going through hardships or if you have a job), but if you are dodging the opportunity to expand your knowledge on something that is relevant to you, try asking yourself a few questions:
1. If you are not willing to put effort in a class, will you put effort in your career?
Going back to my friend: she is an intelligent person in my opinion. I think she is completely capable of surpassing her goals and becoming a good engineer. However, I wish she would understand that a challenge will sharpen her knowledge of science. The challenge the professor could subject her to may have been an opportunity to understand the difficulty of her career and motivate her to change her study skills to adapt to the real difficulties of her future career. The fact that she is more fearful of her grade over her ability to learn concerns me as I wonder how she will react when she faces challenges in her already difficult career choice.
2. Do you honestly believe your intelligence is measured through your grades?
If so, you are mistaken. Even if the classs you take isn’t meant for your major, grades do not reflect your ability of changing the way you learn in the future. As is with Cherise, challenging teachers can motivate you to change your work habits and become a better student throughout your educational career.
Is it the fact that you are afraid you are not cut out for your major after all, or do you still hung onto the idea that difficulty will not help you as a student? This is a conversation to have with yourself and a counselor, and hopefully, you can figure it out later as you choose classes.
In the end, you should remember to trust your own skills and resources around you in order to pass a class regardless of how hard a professor is. Make sure to have faith more in yourself than in the intimidating teaching skills of someone who is eqger to educate tou.