10 ways to annoy a college professor (and lose a reference)

The author, who teaches PR to university students, explains the habits of students that grate on college professors.

(Editor’s note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2014. We’re rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.)

With another semester cruising along, let’s reflect on ways to improve ourselves—naw, instead, let’s consider how to annoy, alienate and anger professors.

After all, these educators would never help you expand your knowledge, secure a job, write recommendation letters, or become lifetime mentors, would they?

Here are some ways to ensure your professor will remember you—not so fondly:

1. Text in class. Do you really think we don’t notice you clicking away. Unless you are a surgeon awaiting a call to surgery, for these two hours you are paying to learn something, perhaps you can shut off your phone.

2. Arrive late for class and then ask questions about topics discussed before you arrived. Please anticipate traffic or parking issues, and build in extra time to get to class. If you had a plane to catch, a red carpet event to attend, or a business deadline, would you be late? If yes, then PR is not the industry for you.

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