Hopefully all your classes will be enjoyable, but sometimes the reality is just the opposite.
We’ve all been there. It’s the beginning of a new semester, and you’re anxious to see what it has in store. Your first class goes pretty well; you already know the professor and aren’t worried because you know she always gives study guides. Your next class goes even better than your first. The professor seems really cool and the material interests you.
Then comes your third class.You leave feeling a little sick to your stomach and almost angry. Maybe the course seems boring or difficult, maybe the professor seemed overbearing, or maybe the syllabus has a test scheduled every other week. As the semester goes on, you realize your instincts were right. You feel like you’re drowning in homework that you don’t understand, and you really dislike the professor’s teaching style. For a while you pretend to smile during class, but scowl the moment you leave. You start thinking things like, “Should I drop this class?” and “Do I have to tough it out?”
Here’s the reality.You’re not going to make it through four (give or take) years of college without disliking a class or two. Some classes will be harder for you than others, and every professor has a different teaching style. That’s just the reality of it.
When you are confronted with a class that you really just don’t like, there’s a choice you have to make. You can continue to feel angry and pessimistic, or instead, use a few of these strategies to make what seems like an unbearable class a little more bearable.
My first piece of advice is to go to your professor’s office hours. Even if you don’t like their teaching style, that doesn’t mean they won’t be helpful if you talk to them one-on-one. Office hours are the perfect time to chat with your professor about struggles you are having, not to mention scoring a few brownie points and showing your professor that you’re invested in the class.
Second, don’t skip class just because you don’t like it. In the long run, this will make the class worse because you’ll feel uninformed and behind with coursework. Even if it seems pointless, get yourself to class and it’ll reward you in the end.
Also, a shift in attitude can mean a world of difference when it comes to disliking a class. Changing your thoughts from “I just hate this class” to “This is a learning experience to work through” can make classes more interesting, homework easier to start and relationships with your professors much better.
Lastly, make the class work for you. Make a schedule of when to study and when to do assignments. Do research on your own if that makes the material more interesting to you. Ask to get together with classmates and see what strategies they’re using. All of these things can make dealing with the class a little easier.
So, next time you dislike a class, just remember that it happens to everyone, and that it’s a learning experience. Look at the silver lining…it will teach you to reach out to staff and peers, and work through difficulties—skills that will be valuable in the future.