in article about professors, a professor at a blackboard

A Good Professor Can Determine Whether a Semester Will Be Stressful or Serene

College can be difficult for many students given other responsibilities, so it is easy to lose track of your work.

How many times have you received a zero for an assignment and didn’t care? Okay, maybe that question was a little too straightforward. But honestly, being a college student is difficult. A student must learn how to balance everything in their life to perform well in school; their private life with their family and friends must also be balanced with their work and academic life. That can get overwhelming and lead a student to do poorly in school. Not everyone is blessed with a life that they can live worry-free. However, having professors that understand the life of college students makes a big difference. No matter how strict a teacher is about deadlines, if a student is going through a hard time, they should try to be accomodating. Here is the thing: Not all college professors are strict or become teachers to stress out students. Some are nice. Most are understanding and try to work with their students to make sure they pass.

Therefore, if you’re not a lucky individual, you might meet a couple of professors that do stress you out. In many cases, that could make a student want to drop out of school. At times, it can feel like teachers become who they are to make life hard for students. According to the Jed Foundation, “Research indicates that when we feel overwhelming stress related to school it not only demotivates us to do the work, it reduces our overall academic achievement and can lead to increased dropout rates.” Put your hands up if you can agree?

Have you ever had a teacher that gave out a lot of work but didn’t grade them on time, even as they gave out additional work? It evokes a meme that goes something like this. Teacher: “Did you do your homework?” Student: “Did you grade my test?” Teacher: “I have other students’ tests to grade.” Student: “I have other teachers’ homework to do.” Which student can’t relate to that meme?  Some professors do stress college students out by giving lots of assignments. Hence, most college students must learn to manage their time wisely and do what is necessary.

Now let’s make things clear: Both students and professors all go through the stress that leads to burnout. However, a teacher must facilitate a stress-free life not only for themselves but for students too. For example, they can start by not giving out as many assignments and instead foster a more interactive teaching environment. If they do that, it will allow them to have more time for grading and spending time with their loved ones.

On a similar note, when a student takes an online course, much of their time is spent re-teaching — to themselves — what they learned in class. Students are given assignments and become overwhelmed with upcoming due dates, making it important to work ahead to make sure they have room to ask for help if it’s needed.

In-person classes are different even if they share the same structure as their online counterparts. The difference is that in-person students can see their professors, which makes one-on-one conversations easier. However, don’t get me wrong; both online and in-person students and teachers experience the stress of academia. A lot of students have responsibilities that need them in more than one place.  For example, some college students have to take care of their families while going to school and work. That can be overwhelming for the body and cause them to miss out on sleep. When a student is experiencing academic stress, they must find people to help them through it. When students are overwhelmed, it gets harder to know or realize that they have people around them that care. The question is, what can students do to manage their stress? Here are some tips:

  1. Get enough hours of sleep each day.
  2. Create a schedule of when and how you’re going to do something.
  3. Make time for yourself, maybe by doing something you enjoy.
  4. Spend time with family or pets.
  5. Work on assignments in advance if you have the time to.
  6. Learn about what stresses you and adjust.
  7. Find ways of dealing with stress in a healthy way.
  8. If you’re going through a life situation and don’t feel like you can perform well, reach out to the professor before the assignment is due. This can be through an email or in-person conversation.
  9. Learn how to communicate your needs to others; maybe they’ll help you.
  10. Sharpen your time management skills.

Amandine Shadia, The University of Arizona Global Campus

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Amandine Shadia

The University of Arizona Global Campus
Journalim and Mass Communication

Amandine Shadia is a courageous writer who loves to educate herself about many topics. Shadia can take on both bad or good that comes in her life. She is a senior at The University of Arizona Global Campus.

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