In college, a “lecture” has certain connotations. It is a time to text your roommate, eat a snack, and jot down a couple notes that were cruelly left off the slides.
But then there are always a few teachers who mistreat a lecture: They pass around an attendance sheet, hold daily class discussions, and call you out if you walk in late or, worse, try to leave early. This isn’t what you and 100 other kids signed up for. You’re supposed to be able to sit back, relax, and blend into the crowd (that is, on the days you show up). Instead, you find your lecture as strict as a high school class. No phones? No side conversations? No resting your head on your desk?…What can we do to distract ourselves during class?
Most of the time it’s awesome living on a college campus, filled with people our age, but sometimes we wish they weren’t, well, everywhere. When you go to pick up your prescription from the infirmary and a pharmacy student working behind the counter hands it to you, that’s awkward. When you want to go up to the ice cream sundae bar but don’t want the table of baseball players to judge you, that’s uncomfortable. When you slip on a patch of ice walking to class and 30 kids see you, that’s embarrassing. When you got no sleep, didn’t have time to shower, and run into someone you don’t want to, that’s every day of college.
There is always one kid who loves participating. Never two; somehow there just happens to be one found in every class. He is always answering a rhetorical question, asking something about the study guide no one’s even looked at yet, and constantly sharing personal anecdotes with the class. You’ve learned that he has two older brothers and transfered here his sophomore year, which is already more than you cared to know.
You most likely went weeks without knowing what this guy even looked like until the one day you turned around out of curiosity. You never turned to look again after that.
Don’t you always wish you could take your pet back to school with you? Pretend for a minute that you wouldn’t have to walk him in between classes or keep a litter box under your desk. Just think about how much less stressful typing a paper would be if your dog was resting his head on your lap, like he did in high school. Or, after dealing with an annoying roommate all week, how peaceful it would be to snuggle with your cat. As much as you might miss home, you’ll never wish that your family were at school with you. But your pets? Yeah, we wish they could come to college, too.
Sometimes it’s the young male T.A. who brings up how crowded the bar was on Thursday. Other times it’s the young female T.A. who favors the wise-guys in class and laughs at all their jokes. Whatever the context, it’s annoying when teacher assistants mention that they drink too much, have a Facebook, and find chapter six as dull as we do.
We get it. You’re younger than our professors, and you can kind of relate to us more… but this class still sucks.
Once a year, your school brings in a band or singer for its end of the year concert. The weather is warming up, the tickets will be cheap, and screaming to lyrics with all your college friends would be awesome. The only thing missing is an artist you actually want to see.
Who usually winds up coming? Some C-list rapper or a band who made it big in 2001. All those rumors floating around about Jay-Z coming were, of course, false. The only thing more annoying is when you find out he’s actually going to perform at your friend’s school. Of course.
All of us have our “spot” in class. It is the seat we began sitting in the first week of the semester and haven’t moved since. We have become very comfortable with the particular view from this angle and the people surrounding us. It is for that reason that we are confused and annoyed when we walk into class and see someone else sitting in our spot. Doesn’t he have his own “unassigned assigned” seat he enjoys sitting in? And why isn’t he sitting in it today?
It’s Junior year, and you realize you’ve gone two and a half years without owning any other school apparel besides the sweatshirt your mom bought you when you got accepted.
A football jersey would be fun to wear to Saturday’s game, and maybe a pair of sweatpants for around the dorm, so you head over to the bookstore.
Wait, the jerseys are $60? And the only good-looking pair of sweatpants is $40? Never mind, you decide, school spirit isn’t worth 100 bucks. On your way out, you see even the winter hats are $20, and the rugby socks $15.
Maybe that’s why kids paint their stomachs on game day— it’s cheaper than buying a T-shirt.
The definition of “dining hall” should be revised to read: An open space where the probability of seeing someone you don’t want to is extremely high.
Whether this person is a past hook-up, or a friend from the first week of freshman year, the dining hall is the hardest place to avoid him or her. As you make your way to the mac and cheese, cut diagonally to the salad bar, then across to the soda fountain, you’re secretly scanning the room.
If you do happen to see the unwanted diner and can avoid eye contact, you must still uncomfortably eat your meal while in clear view of each other.
Or maybe you were safe this time. Now be on the lookout on your way to class, the library, the gym, and your dorm.
Your best friend from home, [insert name], texted you and said she wants to visit you next weekend! You haven’t seen her in a couple months, and you’d love for her to meet all your college friends and show her how fun your school is. At this moment, you are super excited.
Then she arrives. Soon after the hug and screams, the pressure’s on. What if she doesn’t like your friends; or, maybe worse, what if your school friends don’t like her? You warned her that they can be a little crazy and just hope that she doesn’t feel left out.
Now it’s Friday night. Remember, she expects you to show her how fun your school is. Except no one seems to know of anything good going on. You would be fine staying in, but your friend didn’t drive five hours to watch a movie with you (that’s what winter break is for). Now you’re nervous that she’s going to be bored.
Next day at breakfast. You forgot that you will need to swipe her in all weekend at the dining hall. You’re already running low on meal swipes.
Every few weeks or so, you see a sign on your way to class that describes a “free” item that will be available to the student body. Since nothing about college is free, and you spent your last $20 at the bar Saturday, these advertisements always sounds exciting.
The freebie you’ll go to class late for: “Free T-shirts outside the Union! 1-3pm!”
The one that sounds good on a boring Tuesday night: “First 50 at Women’s Hockey game get free water bottles!”
The ad that is so vague you’re intrigued: “Senior day May 2nd! Prizes! Giveaways! Free food!”
They all seem appealing for different reasons, but they have one thing in common: They turn out to be so unappealing that you don’t even want it for free. There’s only XXL shirts left, you have to sit through the whole 3-hour game before you get the souvenir, and the prizes are keychains.