Things Students Do that College Professors Usually Hate

Professors teaching your classes will play a large part of the experience you have in your college career. Personalities will differ in every classroom. Some professors are laid back and friendly, others are stern and not as approachable.

Conducts of behavior that peeve professors in the classroom can vary, but there are a few which are bound to annoy any professor. If you want to make a good impression as a rule of thumb there are a few activities you should make attempts to avoid.

Things College Professors Usually Hate


This is the biggest no-no in academia and all professors take a strong stance against it. Students who plagiarize not only anger their professor, but put their academic status in jeopardy with a good chance of being expelled.


It is irritating to a professor when a student walks in late in the middle of a lecture. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, your professor will always be on time, they like it when you show the same courtesy and arrive to class promptly.

Excessive absences

Too many missed classes not only affect your grade, but will annoy your professor because it is time consuming to have to “get you up to speed” if you miss multiple classes. If you do find yourself in a situation which is unavoidable and forces you to miss class, try and work with other classmates who can help you with notes and other lecture materials that were covered.

Mobile phones

I worked with (and took his class!) a science professor who started off each semester with a lengthy discussion about cellphones. A ringer going off during his class was his biggest pet peeve and, if you wanted to stay on his good side, you’d better make sure that phone was turned off the minute you entered that classroom. Not on vibrate, but off or left in the car. This rule was non-negotiable.

Inattention in class

Ignoring the lecture and letting your eyes drift to the window in a daydream is a behavior to avoid. The lack of effort in taking notes or paying attention demonstrates inattention on your part. Depending on where your grades are at the end of the semester, this could make or break a questionable final grade.

Careless and poorly written assignments

Instructors get frustrated with minimally researched and sloppily written materials. They teach college level coursework and expect a level of professionalism in deliverables. Also, proper citation is a must, some professors may drop your grade on papers if documentation isn’t up to par.

Disruptive behavior

Who doesn’t hate this? It is rude and inconsiderate to both the instructor and the rest of the class.

Unprepared for class

Many professors get irked when you show up disorganized and not prepared with the materials needed for class. It is also a big time waster for everyone when students are not ready to start the class.

You’ll find professors, like everyone else, have different tolerance levels. The way professors deal with certain behaviors may differ; there will be lenient ones and there will be ones who practice severe disciplinary action. One consistency is if certain mannerisms emerge in the classroom, these are sure to be addressed by any professor.

Many of the actions that professors hate are ones that would annoy anyone in most social settings. Demonstrating common courtesy in the classroom, the same you’d show in any other circumstance, will guarantee a much more pleasant semester.

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One Response

  1. Irene Fenswick

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