Students And Teachers Share The One Horrible Moment That Made Them Want To Rage Quit College
School can be tough. For students, your entire future hangs in the balance of that one impossible class with that one impossible professor. You know the one I’m talking about. The one who definitely holds a vendetta towards you and makes your life at school absolutely unbearable. That one.
But if we’re being honest, professors don’t have it much easier either. They have to deal with disorganized and ungrateful students who often make their job feel like an insurmountable, stressful, and thankless endeavor.
Whether you’re a student dealing with impossible teachers or a teacher dealing with impossible students, you’ve probably wanted to rage quit more than once. The good news? You’re not alone. Here, students and teachers share the times that they were ready to finally throw in the towel.
#1 More Like A Professor Fail
I was fairly confident about a final exam I had taken, but when I checked my grade it was only 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 hadn’t 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.
#2 You Deserve The Grade You Earn
I get extremely annoyed with any student who has the audacity to ask to have their grades adjusted higher, especially for reasons unrelated to their work. They say, “I need at least a B to keep my scholarship!” Then you shouldn’t have done C work! It’s simple! Do the work and you’ll get the grade you’re looking for. Don’t do the work, and you won’t get the grade!
#3 Sweet, Sweet Karma
I had a really bad case of swine flu in 2010. I was taking organic chemistry at the time and had a big exam the next day. After having my friend drive me to the hospital, I somehow managed to contact my professor while in a medically induced haze (from codeine) to ask if I could reschedule, especially since I had a doctor’s note.
He flat out refused and insisted that I show up for the exam or I’d fail the test, basically ensuring that I wouldn’t 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 don’t know how, but I managed to get a B on the test… and who ended up with swine flu the next week? That’s right, my organic chemistry teacher. He had to take a full week off when he got sick.
#4 There’s Always That One Professor
I missed half a semester due to a health issue and my GPA was in jeopardy. I was allowed to appeal to the dean and basically get my grades tossed (I would have been out of the tuition, but my GPA would have survived), however, I had to have all of my professors sign off that they agreed the appeal was justified. One professor downright refused to agree on the appeal and I wasn’t allowed to turn it into the dean. I completely tanked my GPA because of that one professor.
#5 She Didn’t Even Bother Grading
I got a failing score on a lab report even though my group and I thought we had done everything in the rubric. We went to our teacher assistant’s office hours later to ask about the score. She ended up reversing all subtracted points because she was taking off points for things we had done correctly. The next year, one of my labmates got a grading position with that teacher assistant. She admitted to him that halfway 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.
#6 She Used The Class As A Babysitter
I was in event management at university and one year, our lecturer brought in her eight-year-old daughter, who had been a stage show once, to ‘teach us’ about stage management. We were appalled. An eight-year-old was going to teach a university-level class?! No one turned up to the next lecture in protest.
#7 Who Are You Supposed to Email?
I missed a quiz due to a medical emergency and had the documentation of my emergency room visit and everything. I emailed my teacher’s assistant about making up the quiz. The teacher’s assistant told me to email the professor because it’s his class policies, not her’s. I emailed the professor who then told me to email the teacher’s assistant because the teacher’s assistant is the one who administered the quiz. It went back and forth like this for ages.
#8 Rewriting the Whole Thing – For No Reason
My supervisor decided that I needed to completely rewrite my master’s thesis for publication to an angle that, in my opinion, was complete nonsense and unpublishable. She gave me an ultimatum, so I refused to work with her. She delayed and blocked the examination of my thesis for two and a half years until last week, when the university removed her from my project after going through the research committee and finding that I had done the work necessary. She was incompetent, selfish, and spiteful.
I won’t get back into research or have my papers published because I have been traumatized by this. I dropped out from a PhD and I’ll never know where I’d be today if I would have had a competent instructor all along. At the same time, I’m really glad I’m no longer putting myself through the academic washing machine. I’m much happier now then I have ever been.
#9 Only A C?
There are two colleges in my town: a university and a community college. I chose community college because it was cheaper. In English 101, we were asked to write a three-page creative piece on why we chose this community college. So, not knowing how to stretch “it’s cheaper than university” into three pages, I wrote about how I struggled with menial jobs my whole life and wanted a better future for my family and I. I was actually pretty proud of it. It was a classic “overcoming hardship” story.
The teacher handed it back to me with a C and said I didn’t answer the question. I flipped the page, circled the “creative writing” portion of the assignment sheet, and stapled my graded paper to it. I gave that in to the department head and the dean. The teacher was replaced mid-semester due to “medical issues.” I assume I wasn’t the first one to complain about her.
#10 Well, That’s Invasive
In school, I was assigned a project to go to an AA meeting and then to write an essay on what it was like. It was a creepy invasion of privacy, and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it at all. We were supposed to either not say why we were there. My dad had a serious problem back in the day and I took the assignment personally. I couldn’t even look at it assignment paper. A few students straight up refused to do it. I ended up giving my friend money to make the essay up for me.
#11 They Didn’t Ask the Question Right
I once asked a question in class and the teacher completely ignored me. She didn’t look my way or even acknowledge that I had spoken at all. Minutes later, a different student asked the exact same question and the teacher said “good question,” and answered it enthusiastically. That made me so mad, I never wanted to ask another question again.
#12 That Doesn’t Count as Adding to the Discussion
The one thing that I can’t stand in school is that one person in a lecture who always rephrases what the professor just said and asks it as a question to sound smart. The professor will say, “So based off of X, we found Y to be true.” Then, the student will go, “So does that mean Y is true because of X?” And the professor loves it! It’s infuriating.
#13 What a Rip-Off!
I bought a $300 loose-leaf textbook for math. This isn’t for an advanced class—it’s for college algebra. Something that everyone at my school has to take. It’s written by my professor, and of course, it “changes” every year so we have to buy a new one. Every. Single. Year.
After unpackaging the book from its wrapping, I saw that it was only 150 pages and there was hardly any information in it. There were maybe two problems per topic and a glossary. Turns out, the real information came from a $100 online program that had more practice problems needed to complete the class. So, I was out $300 dollars on a book that was no use to me and I had also spent $450 on the class. I couldn’t get a refund. All I could hope for was pawning the useless book off to some unsuspecting student for less money than what I paid for.
#14 Minor Details and a Lower Grade
I was docked 10% off of my final essay because I had the wrong date on it, so it wasn’t following MLA standards. Apparently, I had put the date that I submitted the essay instead of the actual date that it was due. In the end, I received a 90% on my paper. I would have had a perfectly-scored essay if the teacher hadn’t docked me for such a ridiculous error! I won’t make that mistake again.
#15 He Should Have Been Fired
I once had a professor who was a raging maniac with one of the scariest tempers I had ever seen. The smallest things would set him off. For instance, this one girl had a bunch of papers stacked on her desk, and when he had asked her what they were for, she politely informed him that she was a teacher’s assistant and they were tests that she was going to grade later. It’s not like she was grading them in class, she was taking notes and being quiet. The papers just happened to be on her desk. He shouted at her to put them away.
He would get angry when anyone asked any questions. He almost threw a chair at someone and regularly yelled profanities. Everyone was scared of him. So I and another student spoke to the dean anonymously since we were still in this whacko’s class. The dean disclosed our names to him and our crazy professor called us, docked our marks, and told me my class participation was abysmal, even though I had gotten an A on every single test and quiz.
The whole thing was aggravating. There are people at the company I work for who have been fired for less. My brother is a college professor now and he says the world of academia has its share of arrogant egotistical jerks. But of course, there are also nice ones.
#16 This Student Shouldn’t Have Been Taking Calculus II
I’m a professor. Normally, I try to be understanding if students are just taking my class because it’s a requirement. If they are only taking my class because it’s a requirement, they tend to be pretty rusty with their math skills, so I try to be easy on them. But once, when I was teaching Calculus II, a student asked: “What’s a derivative?” I gave a very quick answer, along the lines of, “A derivative is a function that measures the rate of change of another function,” but come on. This is Calculus II, the course that comes after Calculus I, and Calculus I is all about derivatives. It’s like going to watch the World Series at someone’s house and asking “What sport is the World Series again?”
#17 The Ultimate Slacker Class
I once took a course called Companion Animals. It was so easy. No matter what I did, I could not get less than 100% on any of my assignments. If I missed a test, I’d make it up at home—unsupervised—and still get 100%. My final project was completed in 15 minutes with a glue stick, poster board, and Wikipedia as my resource. I got 100%. It was such a joke.
#18 How Are You Supposed To Feel?
I had to write an essay focusing on my feelings about studying abroad. I wrote the entire essay and was extremely truthful about how I felt. After sending my professor the final copy, she emailed me back and said, “This is not how you should be feeling.” The worst part wasn’t even having to re-write the entire essay—it was that she misspelled my name in the email. Still makes me really mad.
#19 The Impossible to Pass Class
It was the first day of my finance class during senior year. My professor asked the entire class if anyone was taking other classes. Obviously, everyone raised their hand. Then, he asked which of us also had a job. Most of the class raised their hand, to which the professor responded, “Well, that’s a mistake because this class will take you at least 50 hours a week just to pass.”
I personally thought he was just trying to be a tough guy, I thought he was just trying to be a tough guy, but the guy behind me confirmed that the class would indeed take that much time to finish because it was his third time taking the class, and he was otherwise an A student. Sorry prof, I have bills to pay, other classes, and other responsibilities. The time does not exist to put that much time into this class.
#20 A Manipulative Test
My significant other was working on her master’s degree and the professor added a huge assignment that wasn’t in the syllabus. It wasn’t even going to be graded, but if everyone in the class didn’t do it, it was going to count against their participation grades. Turns out, the assignment didn’t even exist. He was trying to teach everyone how to stand up for themselves. He wanted the class to tell him that the assignment was nonsense. They all failed his little “test.”
#21 Setting Students Up for Failure
Usually, when you take any kind of math-oriented exam (math, physics, mechanics, etc.), you get a large pack of paper with problems slapped on your desk and you finish it in the time allotted. So, you can generally blow through 90% of a test and get stuck on one difficult part that you just can’t solve, or you have that “A-ha!” moment at the end of the test and manage to get it all done. But this one professor had the bright idea of handing out and collecting each problem at 15-minute intervals. So once the problem was collected, that was it. Fifteen minutes is almost never enough time to figure out one problem! He made it so easy for the entire class to fail, and I’m still irritated with that professor to this day.
#22 Never Stop Believing in Your Dream
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. At the time, I dressed pretty “urban”. I was in honors classes, but I was always the black sheep of the group. Anyway, 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 they 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.
#23 Not Worth The Risk
I didn’t want to take a midterm in graduate school so I almost jumped in front of a Volkswagen Beetle driving through the parking lot. It wasn’t going very fast, but I thought if I sprained an ankle or something I would get an extension. I decided against it and got my 78%.
#24 Lost Points After Hours of Work
I had to give a presentation for a class. There were going to be lots of graphs, so the professor said that we should be careful with the colors we used because if the graphs weren’t legible, he would deduct points. I spent hours agonizing over color choices because I didn’t want to lose points. Well, I loaded the presentation on the projector and the bulb was broken, so every cautiously-picked color that I used didn’t show up properly. I was looking at my computer screen, so I had absolutely no idea. I lost points because the graphs were so hard to read.
#25 A Real Waste of Time
During grad school, my research adviser asked me to help out another fellow grad student in their research as both of our projects have a lot of experimental parallels. Anyway, I spend two months of the summer helping that colleague in her experiments and data, and then my RA told me that I couldn’t use any of the data that I helped create towards my own project. Not only did I lose months of my precious time, but I also received no benefit other than my name being mentioned in a footnote on my colleague’s paper.
#26 An Expensive Re-Take
I wrote an exam in Sweden on student exchange, and when I came back home, they told me that I had failed. I knew that I hadn’t failed, but when I asked for further details, they wouldn’t give me any. I booked a flight back to Sweden and retook the test. That same morning, they magically found my exam and told me that I got a perfect score. It was a good additional trip to Sweden, but I wish I would have been reimbursed.
#27 One Ancient Professor
I had an instructor for computer science. He had apparently been writing code since the 1950s and was a very, very ancient fellow. He was a genius at doing what he did, but he couldn’t teach. His exams were 20 pages of obscure printed code, and the only answer he wanted was the final output. He expected us to do it in our heads, no pencils or calculators allowed. The other students and I went to the dean and the professor ended up being removed. The next course was a struggle because he taught us absolutely nothing that was useful.
#28 Not Worth the Paper
I wanted to rage-quit a couple of times. The first time around, advisers told me I needed 38 credits to finish my course. I took 19 credits (and the exact courses the advisers told me to take) that fall and then spring while working full time. I came back with a few weeks left in spring. They proceeded to tell me I had 25 credits remaining, despite the fact that 38-19=19. I emailed several people up the chain for help, nothing came of it.
I wanted so badly to quit. Instead, I took 19 summer credits and got into lots more debt. I fell victim to one lazy professor who never checked the work we turned in online. He tried to fail me, claiming the work wasn’t turned in. I complained to his superior, proved my on-time submissions throughout the semester and got an A-. But the original professor only relented when my assigned partner who did zero work throughout the semester went into his office and cried. He even had the audacity and call me to say, “You’d better thank your partner.”
My urge to quit was rising, but I finished college. All for a degree that isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and has helped me neither to advance in—nor escape from—my terrible job.
#29 An Odd Exchange
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 protest 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 he 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.
#30 Auto-Kicked Out of Class
I failed an in-class math course one semester so I took an online math course to make it up for it. It required us to do all of our studying, homework, and tests on a website that tracks your time. About six weeks in, I had done all of my work and was getting a C or B on most of the assignments. Well, I try and log into the site one day and it rejects me. After messaging the professor he told me the class auto-kicked me out because I hadn’t spent enough hours on the site each week. Apparently, I needed to put at least 15 hours a week on the site and I was only on for three-six hours. I had already known most of the material and didn’t need to be on the site for that long! But I was kicked out of the class anyway.
#31 Salmonella + Peanut Butter = Failing Grade
During freshman year I contracted salmonella from a bad batch of peanut butter. 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 terrible. I received a failing grade automatically for missing six 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 I brought her a doctor’s note. I showed up to her office for the meeting and there was a sign on the door saying she was out sick that day. My head nearly exploded.
#32 Well, What Do You Think?
In a computer science class last semester we had this awful, awful professor. The class was taught by three lecturers, so we had some respite from him, but this guy was in charge of it all. He seemed like he might have been a nice guy at one point or another, but he was so condescending. More than once, I went to his office to ask questions about the class and, instead of answering my question, he would sit there and ask me, “Well, what do you think?” Even though I had no idea what the answer was. He made me feel so dumb.
#33 A 9-Year Degree
Two months into what was supposed to be my final semester, I was told that the two upper-division communications classes I had signed up for did not count towards my diploma because the requirement was for a lower-division communications class. I still got to walk at graduation, but I needed to take two online classes if I wanted the paper. Procrastination got the better of me and it ended up taking me 5 years to finish those last six credits.
#34 Not a Class I Want To Be In
The 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 of 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 her flatulence under control for the rest of the semester and we never had to deal with her again.
#35 Is Climate Change a Hoax?
I had to take this freshman U.S. 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 since he was an academic, every slide on every powerpoint was cited—the most recent data he used to back up his climate change denial was from 1995. I paid to sit in that lecture.
#36 Medical Emergencies Mean Nothing, Apparently
I had a massive medical emergency and was hospitalized for a week. I was unconscious for two days, and on one of those days I was supposed to have two classes. Later, I emailed and then called my two professors. The first professor got the email, emailed me back her slides, her lecture notes, and literally everything else related to the stuff I missed. She also said that she’ll send me the details from the next few meetings if I can’t make it to them. The second professor? I might as well have used smoke signals because I didn’t receive anything back at all from him. He kept marking my missed assignments as zeros because I wasn’t in class. He didn’t even try to get in touch.
#37 No English, Even In An Emergency
My advanced foreign language professor for Japanese dictated that we could not speak English at all during class or we would have marks taken away. That was fine, until one day, a girl started coughing really badly and we all stopped to make sure she was okay and to help her out. The professor took marks off because we spoke in English. There were 13 people in the class and once we found out that he had taken marks away from all of us, we disputed it heavily. The professor ended up taking a voluntary leave of absence. I’m still raging just thinking about it.
#38 Why Are We Still Here?
One thing that really irks me is when someone asks the teacher a question at the end of class which could just as easily be answered one on one, after class. I work 12 hours a day, I don’t need to sit through five to 10 additional minutes on why my community college-educated professor chose accounting as her major.
#39 Failed Exam Over a Stapler
I was studying electrical engineering at one of the country’s top universities and it was really, really hard. We had a big assignment coming up that would likely determine my grade in the class. I got myself really pumped up and said “I’m going to completely master this topic,” and proceeded to spend the weekend studying the material and doing the assignment.
I was on my way to drop off the homework in the professor’s mailbox when the stapler that was usually there was gone. There was a strict deadline from which the TAs collect the homework from the mailbox, so I just wrote my name and the page number at the top of the three sheets that I was submitting.
The next day, I got an email off of the professor that said something like, “Your inability to follow even basic instructions is startling. Out of the 300 students in the lecture, you are the only one who didn’t staple your work. I’ve chosen to give you a zero on the assignment.” I was devastated. I got the homework back the following class and I actually got everything correct.
#40 Computer Lost My Degree
When I was about to graduate, my university entered the wrong major and minor due to a computer error. When I went to fix it, they told me that the majority of the classes I took for the minor I wanted didn’t exist in the class log so they couldn’t be counted and I would have to start over. I couldn’t fight it.