Students share: What they wish professors knew

Lectures, homework, exams.


Papers, projects, presentations.


And repeat.

The life of a college student can be stressful and busy, especially with a heavy load of courses.

But students at Detroit Mercy – and probably every other school – sometimes feel their professors don’t fully grasp the challenges students face. They also think some professors are unaware of their pet peeves.

So, The Varsity News gave them a chance to share their concerns publicly with their professors, and more than a dozen courageously agreed. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Cassidy Lombardi, a sophomore, reminds professors that many students face numerous responsibilities. “They tend to act like their class could be our only class,” she said. “During midterms week, we could have four exams, four papers or four projects due… They just need to be more understanding when it comes to our everyday schedules."
  • Alexandria Ciavarelli, a sophomore, wishes her classes were more interactive. She believes it would help hold students’ attention if they were participating more in the class.
  • Eve Nissan, a senior, would like professors to help students more, especially if a student is asking a particular question in class. “Please don’t think we already know the subject or know a lot about it,” she said. “Go into detail and elaborate more.”
  • Kye Dozier, a sophomore, said that practice questions with answer keys help students better prepare for exams. “My suggestion is to make the tests for the pre-requisite classes easier or simpler for students, by giving out answer banks and providing multiple-choice questions,” he said.
  • Zahraa Hammoud, a freshman, dislikes classes in which professors read from texts. “I feel like those classes are always super unhelpful because I’m able to read the lectures at home off of Blackboard by myself,” she said.
  • Roberto Pacheco, a senior, dislikes being given short notice for an overwhelming amount of readings. “Make it reasonable,” said Pacheco.
  • Mijai Lewis, a junior, noted that some students are heavily involved in sports. “I’m on the women’s track team and realizing that I have a busy and stressful schedule would be helpful,” she said. “Try not to give us an overwhelming amount of homework.”
  • Bridget Smith, a junior, wishes likes when professors understand that students today have different battles and struggles than they did back in the 1970s and 1980s. “Times are different,” she said. “We were raised differently, so sometimes it's important to take that into consideration when teaching and giving out of class work.”
  • Maia Cook, a senior, said that every individual student has his or her own individual issues and situations. “This student’s problem isn’t the next student’s problem,” she said. “Be more sympathetic. Students do face personal issues that can interfere with school. That’s life and it happens.”
  • Avera Smith, a junior, dislikes meet-and-greets and ice-breakers. “Also, stop asking us to journal our freaking thoughts for a class,” she said. “Honestly, I’m just trying to pass – turn my work in and be done, not reveal my soul. There have been times where I was going through something at that moment and we had to do an exercise involving me to share that very thing.”
  • Brianna Cohen, a junior student-athlete, wishes professors could organize tests, assignments and lectures so that they didn’t fall on holidays and sporting events. “There are also times when there is an exam right before or immediately after a break and mentally I feel like students aren’t prepared,” she said. “I have actually had professors that either won’t work with me when trying to reschedule an exam due to a sporting event or try to have me take it at a time that is inconvenient or rushed. It’s really stressful.”
  • Olanzo Palmer, a junior, raises a point about mental capability and the disruption that illnesses cause. “Everyone should understand mental illnesses, like depression, can be debilitating and that they make school and life, in general, harder to deal with,” he said. “Sometimes people can’t get out of bed because of it. It’s a real issue that calls for attention.”
  • Alyse Griffin, a freshman, said professors suggest one-on-one help. “In all honesty, some professors don’t encourage this. A lot of the times, assistance and tutoring are frowned upon and some students feel embarrassed to even think they need that kind of help. Assure the students that getting help is okay and that it’s normal to need it. Everybody needs help sometimes.”