Student or Learner
Can the adjective awesome refer to something unpleasant?
I am not a teacher, but I should say yes, it has both meanings (at least in the dictionaries):
impressive; frightening; inspiring awe; great, terrific (Slang)
-Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder; "New York is an amazing city"; "the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight"; "the awesome complexity of the universe"
-Expressive of awe or terror. "An awesome glance up at the auld castle".
Thank you mate
If you want to use that other sense of awesome, I suggest "awe-inspiring" instead.
Truly, as stated above, only good things are "awesome." It's one of the few bits of slang I have in common with my children.