CofC Logo

For Students, From Your Professors

Professor's Pet Peeves

Below are lists of DOs and DON’Ts that come straight from your professors at the College of Charleston (though probably professors at most universities would agree). Keep them in mind if you want to be a success from Day One.

Good luck!


  • Text in class under your desk. Your professor knows you aren't just staring and/or laughing at your crotch!
  • Send profs e-mails written in TXT, K?  THX.
  • Have your mom or dad call your professor on your behalf to complain about your grade in class. 
  • Ask “Do you take attendance?”
  • Expect answers to questions about the course that are covered in the syllabus.
  • Write answers to a test on your hand, and then use that hand to receive the test from the teacher at the beginning of class.
  • Invite a professor to be a friend on Facebook or LinkedIn in the middle of class, especially if the class policy is "No use of electronics in class."
  • Leave and return during a 50-minute lecture. Really? You can't hold it? Cross your legs. And whatever you do, don’t ask to go, just go
  • Send an email from "" or “," Your professor will form an impression of you - and it's probably not the impression you want him/her to have.
  • Skateboard the wrong way down one-way streets. Duh!
  • Fall asleep in class. But if you do, don’t snore!


  • Ask at least one question in every class.
  • Know that students earn their grades, professors do not give them.
  • Type your work. You are in college now, and it is 2013.
  • Answer test questions consecutively and in complete sentences, rather than stream of consciousness. And not in green ink!
  • Find things you are good at, and like.  Often the two are connected.  
  • Say “I’m having trouble understanding this.” You will get a better response than if you say “You didn’t explain this very well” to your professor.
  • Be clear and honest about what you do not understand. For this short period of time, that's someone else's (the professor's) problem. So don't fake a thing. 
  • Ask if you don’t understand something. Chances are that 75% of the class is right there with you going “WHAT?!” They will thank you for it.
  • Start writing your paper early. You can’t write an “A” paper in two hours. Probably not even a “C” paper.
  • Learn the difference between “reply” and “reply all.”
  • Engage in public speaking and master personal finance.
  • Know your attitude always matters.
  • Treat college like a full-time job. Make the time you spend in class and the time you spend studying add up to 40 hours a week.