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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Ways professors change from freshman to senior year

Over the years college changes in numerous ways, but one change people often overlook is how professors act toward students.

This list compiles observable changes in professor conduct between freshman and senior classrooms:


They curse more

Let’s be real, freshman ‘intro’ classes are all about the dry textbook stuff: theory, sources and pointless lists to memorize for tests. During these classes, professors are there to do their jobs and help with the transition from high school to college. They are polite, courteous and PG-13.

When senior year rolls around, all bets are off. It’s commonplace for professors to drop a curse word or two in with their jokes, critical statements or frustrated spiels. The best part? It makes us like them more.

They sign their emails with unique send-offs

Forget “regards” or “sincerely.” Professors emailing senior students sign with “cheers,” “peace” or other personality-specific closings. Perhaps it’s their way of seeming more casual, on our level or more approachable as human beings, but whatever the reason, the change of tone is certainly welcome.

They acknowledge we haven’t and probably will never read

Actually reading? That’s so freshman year.

Professors will literally ask “Who actually did the reading?” Inevitably, this calls forth a weak number of scattered hands.

Profs begin to finally acknowledge that we have way bigger fish to fry at this point and would rather focus on job searching than pouring over extra PDFs or chapter assignments, and it’s awesome that they’re willing to work with us on that.


They share personal life stories

This change is potentially the coolest. Professors open up more the older we get, and are willing to share photos, stories and empathy regarding the turbulent life change called post-graduation.

These candid moments are gems in their own right, and we remember that our teachers are real people with individual life stories — often inspirational ones, at that.

They invite students to do things outside the classroom

Showing us who they really are inside the classroom can lead to professors inviting us to things outside of it. English professors will often mention poetry readings at local bars or the UCA, encouraging students to attend. Some upper-division profs even take their small classes out to pizza.

Sign us up.

Overall, these changes insinuate that professors are showing us more of their real selves — probably because they’re starting to recognize us as actual adults. It’s a good sign, considering that the real world lurks just around the corner.

Cheers, fellow students. We’re that much closer to being viewed as equally respectable citizens.

Collegian A&E Writer Caitlyn Berman can be reached at or on twitter @CaitlynBerman.

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