From professors out to make your life miserable to textbooks that cost more than your first car, college life can be a grind. Some days its all you can do to just show up in time to class, much less be ready to deal with anything else. Today, students and professors on AskReddit share that moment that made them want to quit college altogether.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article
Got a failing score on a lab report even though me and the rest of the group thought we did everything in the rubric. We went to our TA (teaching assistant)’s office hours later to ask about the score. She basically reversed all subtracted points because she was taking off points for things we had done correctly. The next year one of my lab mates got a grading position with that TA. She admitted to him that half way through the year she stopped paying attention to the reports and assigned random scores. This is a college level course for our major. You can’t do that.
I had swine flu BAD in 2010. As in, had to have a friend drive me to the hospital and the doctor giving me codeine cough medicine and swearing I would quarantine myself until I felt better bad. I was taking organic chemistry in a class of close to 200 people and had a big exam the next day. I somehow managed to contact my professor while in a drug-induced haze to ask if I could reschedule, especially since I had a doctors note.
He flat out refused, and insisted I show up for the exam or Id fail the test, basically ensuring I wouldnt get the grade I needed for the class (I was in a very competitive undergrad program). I finally talked him into letting me take the exam in his office before class the next day. I dont know how, but I managed to get a B on the test….and who ended up with swine flu the next week? Thats right, my O-chem teacher. Karma baby. He had to take a full week off when he got sick.
First day in a particular Finance class senior year.
Professor: “Who here is taking other classes?”
Pretty much everybody raises a hand.
Professor: “Who here has a job?”
Most of the class raises a hand.
Professor: “Well, that’s a mistake because this class will take you at least 50 hours a week just to pass.”
I thought he was just trying to be a hardnose, but then the guy behind me confirmed that the class would indeed take that much time per week every week just to get by because it was his THIRD time taking the class, and he was otherwise an A student.
Sorry, I have bills to pay, other classes, and other responsibilities. The time does not exist to put that much time into this class.
So I DID rage quit…after trying desperately to get through the class for a couple of months.
The time that both my TI-83+ and my TI-89 died during a final exam.
I was fairly confident about a final exam I had taken, but when I checked my grade it was a 56. I spoke to the professor and asked him to take a second look, but he refused and said it was obvious that I just hadnt put in the effort. I finally convinced him to recheck it, and it turned out that only one side of my answer sheet had been scanned. My actual grade was a 94. Thankfully he changed my grade to the correct score, but it was still frustrating.
When we had to buy $400 textbooks when the previous edition could be bought second-hand for $50. The only difference between the two editions? The order of the practice problems at the end of each chapter…
My advanced foreign language professor dictated that we could not speak English at all during the class, or we would have marks taken away. This was fine, until one day a girl started coughing up blood and we all stopped to make sure she was okay and help her out. Professor took marks off because we spoke in English. I’m still freaking angry.
There were 13 people in the class, all of us disputed this when we became aware they’d be taken away (we were informed during the next lecture). The lecturer took a voluntary leave of absence, I’m not sure if he’s back at the university because I graduated before he could have come back. The language was Japanese.
I once took a class called The Internet to fulfill a requirement. It taught you how to right click, navigate to websites, and use search engines.
This was in 2005. It was also an online course.
That was probably the least ridiculous thing about my first college, but it only got worse; I noped out of that school after one year.
I took a course called Companion Animals for a Humanities and Social Science requirement. No matter what I did I could not get less than 100% on anything. Missed a test, make up at home, unsupervised – 100%. Final project completed in 15 minutes with a glue stick, poster board and Wikipedia – 100%. It was such a joke.
The IT situation at my undergrad was usually described as “a lot of little fixes on an ancient set of software instead of upgrading”. At some point, there was a comical little error where all campus services couldn’t be accessed, but only from campus wi-fi. If you lived off-campus, used mobile data, or could go somewhere off-campus with wi-fi, you could get into campus services, but if you couldn’t (very likely in a small town–probably only places with wi-fi were friend’s houses, McDonald’s, and Dunkin Donuts), you were screwed. A professor got mad at us for not doing any online assignments because “well, then why aren’t you contacting IT services yourselves and having them fix it?”…you know, like we could contact IT and everything would magically go back up and be fixed.
I got a C- in a third year Chemistry class because my “cover page didn’t have enough pizzazz.” THAT’S WHAT THE PROFESSOR WROTE ON MY PAPER. I was 21 at the time.
All of my graded work added up to an A but the professor gave me a C because she “didn’t like my attitude.” I went to the Dean to contest the grade. He told me that he couldn’t do anything about it because I would have her as a professor in the future and didn’t want to make things “awkward.” Instead, he gave me a CD of him playing Presbyterian hymns on the trumpet and sent me on my way.
Had to give a presentation for a class. There were going to be lots of graphs and stuff, so the professor made a point of saying that we should be careful with the colors we used, because if the graphs weren’t legible he would deduct points. Spent hours agonizing over color choices, because why lose points for something silly like that? Load the presentation on the projector, and the bulb was messed up or something…so reds (and by extension, every other color) weren’t showing up properly. I was looking at my screen, so I had no idea. Professor gives me his comments (and grade)…lost points for the graphs being hard to read.
I was in a 300-level economics course once and the professor (who was the head of the department) started talking about negative GDP growth. “The GDP declines by 2%,” he said as he wrote “GDP x 98%” on the board, causing a girl in the back of the class to raise her hand and ask one of the most ridiculous questions I think I’ve ever heard.
“How did you know to times it by 98%?”
A bunch of other people in the class chime in agreeing with her confusion.
“….Because I said it declined by 2%….” he stammers out, hopelessly.
“Yeah, I get that, what does that have to do with 98%?” another student asks.
It seriously derailed the class for 5-10 minutes as the professor tried to get to the bottom of their misunderstanding. At the end of it he looked at me and a couple of other people in the class who were as visibly shaken as he was, asked us if we knew what he was talking about and moved on after we agreed.
Was assigned a project to go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and to then write an essay on what it was like.
Super weird/creepy invasion of privacy. We were supposed to either not say why we were there or to “just pretend” to be an alcoholic/ex-alcoholic.
My dad used to drink a lot and I took the assignment personally. Couldn’t even look at it. A few students straight up refused to do it.
Freshman year I got Salmonella from a bad batch of peanut butter. ( This was 2006, it was a pretty big story back then). I missed two weeks of class and couldn’t get out of bed. Most of my professors were cool, but the head of the math department was not. I received a failing grade automatically for missing 6 classes. This was a huge problem, because it nearly cost me my full time student status. After much begging through emails I was able to schedule a meeting with her to discuss what happened and bring her a doctor’s note. I showed up to her office for the meeting and their was a sign on the door saying she was out sick that day. My head nearly exploded.
One time my English teacher had asked us what profession we wanted to pursue. When it was my turn I told her that I wanted to be a physician (I was pretty “hood/urban” growing up and dressed the part. Was in honors classes but always was the black sheep). Anyways, she went on, in front of the entire class to say “well, sometimes we want to do things that aren’t really meant for us…” No student should ever be told that he/she can’t achieve their goals. In the end, it’s all good, because I’m posting this between seeing patients after finishing my training and specializing in a field I’ve always wanted to specialize in.
If you have a dream, don’t stop until you exhaust every last effort. And never stop believing in yourself. Ever.
Did the entire group project because the group I was assigned to neglected to you know, do, the work.
Handed it in with their student cards also on it because I’d lose marks if I handed it in by myself. Bear in mind this project got a first class mark, these guys did absolutely no work towards it, most of them didn’t even turn up to meetings.
Lost marks because we did a post groupwork review and one of the group said I wasn’t a team player or something.
I was genuinely considering beating the crap out of that guy but decided to just let it drop because it wasn’t worth getting kicked off the course. Karma will get that guy, hope an anvil fell on his head.
First day of the semester, I walk into a classroom with a professor who had uncontrollable flatulence. She lets the first one rip and all the students look at each other confused as the professor continues her lesson almost as if she hadn’t noticed. This happened every 10 or 15 minutes for the next hour and a half. Fortunately for her, outside of a few chuckles, no one made a big deal out of it. Fortunately for us, she got it under control for the rest of the semester and we never had to deal with Vladimir Pootin’ again.
On 9/11, this was in Colorado Springs, right by one Army and two Air Force bases. A lot of my classmates were active or reserved military. My math professor showed no leniency for his “no phones” and “no absence” rules.
When I say “no phones” I mean they weren’t even allowed to be silenced or turned off. He made people leave them in their cars. “No absence” meant that if you left to use the restroom, he counted you as absent and wouldn’t allow you back in because entering/leaving during class was a distraction.
So, while the twin towers were still burning, he pretty much told all the troops in the class that they needed to take an unexcused absence (nothing without an emergency room visit and doctor’s note was excused), possibly failing the class. The fact that they needed to be reachable by their chain of command didn’t matter.
I had to take this freshman US Geography class that was like a 300 person lecture. The professor was in his 80s and tenured. He spent multiple lectures going over his evidence that global warming was a liberal hoax and that Al Gore was wrong, and since he was an academic, every slide on every powerpoint was cited, and the most recent data he used to back up his climate change denial was from 1995.
He also spent a lecture on how Costco was a Chinese company using deceptive marketing practices to appear American because he didn’t realize that Costco and COSCO are completely different companies. I paid to sit in that lecture.
My professor asked us to write a paper about our personal struggles, so I wrote about my severe anxiety disorders. He wrote Who cares? on it. It was my first college class I took between my junior and senior years of high school and I was so disheartened.
I live in a residence hall. I was taking a four hour online exam last semester, and the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. Some idiot had burnt their toast.
My friend basically blew off a whole semester of Econ, and was going to skip the final because whats the point? I convinced her I could teach her enough to pass, so we spent all day and all night with me teaching her a full semester of economics. She got a higher grade on the final than I did.
I attended this incredibly boring class for an entire semester about folklore (it’s long been considered a blow-off class at my university) and went to every class (3 times a week). Taken by the TA’s each day and wasn’t updated until the week before final grades are due, attendance represented 25% of your grade. Went to check my attendance and everyone in my class was given a 65% because the TA didn’t take attendance for some days. We all went to the professor about it and she told us that we should have been checking with the TA to make sure he was properly taking attendance….dropped my grade from a 93 to a 86. Incredibly frustrating. Professor got fired a few months later for a similar situation.
I was studying electrical engineering at a Big 10 university and it was beating the crap out of me. We had a big assignment coming up that would likely determine my grade in the class. I get myself really pumped up and said Im going to completely master this topic and proceeded to spend the weekend studying the material and doing the assignment. Im on my way to drop off the homework in the professors mailbox, and the stapler thats usually there was gone.
Theres a strict deadline from which the TA’s collect the homework from the mailbox, so I say screw it and just write my name and the page number at the top of the 3 sheets I was submitting. The next day, I get an email of the professor saying something like your inability to follow even basic instructions is startling. Out of the 300 students in the lecture, youre the only one who didnt staple your work. Ive chosen to give you a zero on the assignment. I was devastated. Got the homework back the following class and I actually got everything correct.