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Opinion: Respect your professors

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For new college students without parental supervision, many find themselves skipping class, or only going to get attendance points.

Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college.

It’s something that we’ve all heard time and time again, but I think it’s something that is easy to forget while in college.

We're in college to learn, or at least that’s why we should be here. I think that students get caught in the comradery of the college atmosphere, and lose sight of the fact that there are so many opportunities available to them here. 

The UA has so much to offer its students, with top notch professors, state of the art facilities and a history of top-grade research. However with our education system, it's easy to have a myopic view of school, with letter grades and diplomas at the forefront of our minds. We forget that the knowledge and work ethic that can be obtained from a college education are more important than a GPA. It's the classes on our transcripts, not the letters next to them that matter. 

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Without parental supervision, many students find themselves skipping class, or only going to get attendance points.

Each of us are paying tuition out the nose to be here. We're paying for our professors, we're paying for the university’s resources... we're paying for our education. 

It's a privilege to be taught by our professors. They are among the world’s brightest minds, having earned some of the highest academic degrees, and are conducting the most prestigious research in their fields.

I encourage you to Google at least one of your professors. See where they attended school, what papers they have written, the books they have published and even the awards they have earned. 

They're clearly all very impressive human beings, and they are by no means obligated to teach you. They have plenty of other things to be doing with their time, like research and writing, but they choose to dedicate time to you.

This isn’t grade school anymore where teachers hold student's hands. As a college student, your own educational growth falls in your lap. You no longer have your parents or teachers, to the same extent as before, to guide you along. It's up to you to maximize your time while you are here. 

It should be an honor to have the opportunity to be in the same room with some of your professors, especially when they share personal insights about their work and field.Take advantage of this inside scoop, engage with the lecture and ask questions — this is a rare experience!

Unplug your headphones, put away your cell phones and actually listen to what your professors are saying. I guarantee they know a lot more than you may give them credit for.

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One thing that I've noticed in college is the blatant disrespect for professors. I'm not entirely innocent to this either. I’ve zoned out during class, checked my phone and fallen asleep. Professors say it time and time again; they can see the classroom when they're speaking. They know who's sleeping, who's on their phones and who's not paying attention. 

Not only are all of these choices disruptive to the learning environment, but they are extremely rude to the professor. It shows a lack of interest in what they are teaching, when they are the ones who are taking time out of their day to teach you — you're even paying to be there.

One of the worst offenses includes packing up early. While the professor is still speaking, the echo of one backpack’s zipper sends a ripple through the entire classroom or lecture hall, and then suddenly every student begins to follow suite.This is just signaling to the professor that your own time is more valuable than theirs, and you couldn't care less what they are saying. 

Your professor is not there for their own benefit, they are there as a resource for you to learn so you can be qualified to, hopefully, do what you love in life. Take advantage of these resources that you are offered, because they are not resources that everyone has access to.

Go to class. Learn something. Never forget that you are here, for a very short time in grand scheme of things, to earn an education that some people would give an arm and a leg for. 

Claudia Drace is a junior at UA who is impressed by her professors and unimpressed by her peers. 


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