Perspective: Life in College
As the end of the semester approaches, it is now time to pick classes for the upcoming semester. When this time comes around there is always one website in particular that nearly every college student uses when choosing which section or which professor to enroll in, and that is the infamous, Rate My Professors.
Although it may seem like a useful site because you get the opinions of prior students, it is truthfully just extremely biased and creates unnecessary expectations in students’ minds, whether they are good or bad. Even though I know this website is not truly indicative of the professor’s teaching ability or how they are as a person, I am also guilty of searching through all the ratings left from past students, some dating to a decade ago.
Naturally as a chemistry and pre-med student, a lot of my classes are going to be extremely math and science heavy, and some of the pre-med students tend to be extremely cut-throat.
As a result, when the material is inevitably hard and students are not necessarily earning the grades they want, the easiest way to offload their frustrations is to leave terrible reviews on the professors and blame them. I have seen this happen in a few of my classes, and it truly caused me to have a biased mindset, whether it was this class is going to be impossible or this professor apparently is the worst, before even taking the class or meeting the teaching staff.
To be completely honest, a few of my professors, who have had some of the lower reviews, have actually been some of my favorite ones. For example, this semester I had genuinely the kindest professor, who was accommodating in every sense, extremely encouraging in a daunting lab, gave us little presents before Thanksgiving break and was just overall exceedingly passionate about everything she was teaching, but her reviews would tell you the complete opposite.
And another class I’m taking this semester, which essentially combines quantum mechanics equations with multivariate calculus, differential equations and linear algebra, had reviews making it sound like only Schrodinger himself could successfully complete this course. Trust me, I know it sounds terrible, but the reviews caused me to psych myself out so much before I even went to class, but it honestly turned out not too bad.
So with the next semester approaching in a few months and the new coursework I and other students are about to take on and the new professors or teachers we’re about to meet, I hope we can all approach it with more open minds, and I know that is certainly something I’m going to work on, now and in the future.
Paige Beaudry is a junior at Boston University. She is a 2018 graduate from Hammonton High School.