Tutors

By now, you should have experienced a range of tutors. Hopefully, you will have realised that some are awesome, and can be the difference between you just ‘getting by’ and succeeding in a course. Regretably, you’ll probably have also realised that some simply aren’t up to the job.

Tutors are a great example of my main point – that your BA is entirely what you make of it. Let’s look at my favourite tutor at uni. She was not only knowledgeable about the course; she was passionate about it. She didn’t just tell us what sorts of essays would get the best marks, she told us how she was using her BA every day to learn about the world. One day, she came into a tutorial wearing makeup, because she’d been asked to do a TV interview about the findings of her post-grad assignment. She was organised, helpful and – best of all – infectiously passionate about learning.

My least-favourite tutor didn’t seem to give a damn. She recapped the main lecture points with apathy. She never gave clear answers about what she wanted us to do in the essays, explaining that we would simply have to ‘work it out’ like she had been forced to. She groaned when we handed our essays in and she groaned when she handed them back, explaining with satisfaction that we had made all the mistakes that she knew we were going to make (presumably the same mistakes that she’d made when she did it).

These two tutors demonstrated to me that a BA can either be an opportunity to inspire and educate, or an excuse to be cynical and tired. It can be the best thing you ever did, or it can be a waste of three perfectly good years and many thousands of perfectly good dollars. It is whatever you want it to be.

So, no matter what sort of tutors you have, use them as an opportunity to reflect on what your BA means to you. Any tutor, inspirational or not, is an opportunity to remind ourselves what sort of BA graduate we want to be. So, rather than complaining about your tutor, show them why their job is a priviledge, and prove to them that a BA is first and foremost about curiosity, open-mindedness and empowerment.

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