How to Deal with Strict Professors

If only we could tell them to take a chill pill.
by Nicole Chiang   |  Jul 17, 2016
Image: Clare Magno PHOTO Warner Bros.
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Been there, done that. Most of us have inevitably come across this kind of professor in our lives. You may have dealt with the strict professor with expects from his/her students as much as he/she imparts. You may have also dealt with the other type—strict just because. Whatever you’ve experienced, there may still be a chance that you'll encounter a few more throughout your school years. If what didn’t kill you simply made you stronger, it's best to put that experience to good use. Share more of your own tips and help a fellow student!

  1. Never ever slack off.

This is one of the pro tips to stay on your professor's good side. Don't ever go below his/her expectations. Once you do, there will remain only a slim chance at redemption. If your professor ever catches you performing less than your 100%, it'll go downhill from there. You'll regret that one mistake for a whole semester. Always make an effort to do all the assigned tasks on time. Quality matters. Don't give your professor any reason to put you on a black list.

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  1. Whatever happens, don't fan that flame.

Don't be that student who tests the professor's limits. It's never a good idea to push anyone's buttons, and your professor is no different. Make sure to be extra careful. A classic example is requesting your prof to move the deadline of a certain requirement. It's okay to initiate, especially if it's actually quite reasonable, but never push too hard. The last thing you want is for an already strict professor to become stricter.

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  1. Go for the extra mile.

As a continuation to never slacking off, it doesn't hurt to step it up sometimes. Show your professor that you're ready to meet his/her expectations—and so much more. Just do your best. Do it because you are genuinely psyched and motivated to, not just because you want to impress him/her. They might not show it, but they can smell a fake from miles away. Once they sniff you out, it's not just off-putting, you can actually offend his/her passion for teaching.

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  1. Smart questions and smart answers.

No one enjoys talking to a smart aleck, so don't be one. When you try too hard to impress your professors, you'll appear exactly that. They appreciate students who show genuine interest toward the subject they're teaching, and they see that through smart inquisition and smart responses. In this aspect, quality beats quantity. You don't necessarily have to be the student who recites all the time, but make sure that when you do, it's meaningful.

  1. Be punctual.

Be it coming to class or submitting a requirement, don't even think about being late. This not only shows a lack of effort from you, but it also vividly shows your professor just how much his/her class means to you. You should also know that this is a sign of disrespect, and it doesn't really matter if your professor is strict or not, always be punctual. If ever you can't avoid being late for something, make sure that you make up for it. Explain why you couldn't make it on time. It's the least you can do to show courtesy.

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About the author
Nicole Chiang
Candymag.com Correspondent
A fan of music, theatre, movies, books and food, Nicole is an all-around over-achiever who won’t stop pushing for the best, and nothing but the best.
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