first impressions

Professors and First Impressions

There’s no question that depending on the professor, a class can be either enjoyable or excruciating. For instance, we would all like to have this professor for our chemistry class:

But when websites like or advice from friends can’t give you the scoop about each professor, attending the first class can give you quite a bit of insight.

All your life in school leading up to college, you’re told that college is like the real world and you don’t have second chances. You may have been told that before high school too (and you know there were plenty of loopholes around that one). Well, that may be partially true with college, but it’s also like the real world in the sense that the professors probably don’t care too much if you drop their class and are generally more open; it’s easier to get an accurate first impression of the professor.

From the intimidating, intelligent professor to the laid-back, or wild one, I’ve had my share of quite a variety of professors; I’ve also developed a sense of taking first impressions of the professors and gauging what the class will probably be like.

First, let’s start with the well-decorated—with doctorates and achievements: Obviously, this professor is well-educated and intelligent, and probably has been teaching for many years. He/she is passionate about the subject he teaches and most likely is delighted when students try to learn as much as they can in that class. So, make sure to ask questions and make an effort. But expect a lot of work.

(photo source:

Then, there’s the professor who complains about people who are late to class or don’t have textbooks the first day and blame it on drinking. He also may plainly say he expects half the class to drop out within a week.

(photo source:

It’s safe to say: That probably won’t be your favorite class.

Lastly, one professor, who is almost identical to Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus, is so excitable and tells the class everything about her life and her 28 cats. She and her words are just bouncing off the walls.


(photo source:

Within the first 10 minutes of the first class, I was thinking: Ending classes early and fairly easy exams? I was delighted when she announced we would be taking absolutely no quizzes and no exams. Meow!

If you’re thinking you may be stuck in a required class or don’t want to switch simply because of the professor, don’t sweat it. In most colleges, it’ll only be for a semester. But taking note of first impressions of professors can certainly be a fun little way to pass some time while they go over that 20-page syllabus.

-Did/do you have any memorable professors? Share your stories!