We asked students the worst things they’ve done in Zoom lectures with the camera off

‘I still had my one night stand in my bed’


Students have had a shit semester one: The pubs are closed, you can’t see anyone other than your annoying housemates, and Zoom break out rooms are the actual devil. Perhaps the only perk of this whole year is being able to stick an online lecture on, get your attendance marked down, and then swiftly turn off your webcam and mic for an hour of not paying any attention and instead doing whatever the hell you fancy. Pure bliss.

Of course everyone spends their whole time in online lectures scrolling through TikTok, doing their makeup and taking absolutely zero notice of their lecturer, but what about the really juicy stuff your coursemates are doing behind their webcams? We asked uni students for the worst things they’ve done in Zoom lectures when their cameras are turned off:

‘I did bits with a boy while he was in his lectures’

I’ve been in bed with a guy and done bits whilst he’s in his Zoom lectures a few times now – he always puts them on so it looks like he’s attending 9ams. The first time we slept together I woke up at 9.08am to the sound of his lecturer talking about some sciencey shit but as soon as he realised I was awake he turned his laptop’s sound off and it has been a silent affair ever since.

The whole ordeal is always terrifying and the anxiety about whether the mic or camera is on is never ever, ever worth it but we’ve been lucky so far. – Lucy, Coventry

‘She farted really loudly and it highlighted her box, she hasn’t come to a seminar since’

Someone in my seminar farted really loudly and we were all just sat there not knowing what to do. Her camera was off but it highlighted her box yellow and she’s not been back to one of the online sessions since.

It was really bad because we were having a serious debate about ethics in the news and then bam: A wet fart. – Katelyn, Lincoln

‘What if my whole course has seen me naked?’

I always end up having a shower before lectures so then I’m always naked and getting dressed while it’s on, and I always think “what if my whole course has seen me naked?” – Sanj, Soton

‘I woke up to my lecturer shouting at me’

I fell asleep and was woken up shortly after to my lecturer screaming my name asking if I understood the work. My camera was off so they couldn’t see me, but I obviously wasn’t replying so they thought I wasn’t there or something was wrong. – Katelyn, Lincoln

‘They did a poo on camera’

This person should have had their camera off, but didn’t. I was in a 300-person lecture where someone carried their laptop to the loo, did a poo on camera and then wiped on camera. The lecturer had to email them afterwards saying “can you confirm whether or not you did use the bathroom today, so that I know to blur it out for when I upload it online”. – Sophie, London

‘I still had my one night stand in my bed’

I’ve gotten busy with a boy after a one night stand whilst maintaining my perfect attendance record and turning on my Zoom lecture – obvs with the camera and mic off.

He ended up drunkenly telling me he loved me and ended things over text a fortnight later, and gave me a UTI which turned into a kidney infection. It wasn’t worth it. – Ellie, Manchester 

‘I spilt a boiling Pot Noodle on my lap. I now have a cold snack rule for lectures’

I spilt a Pot Noodle on my lap and did a little yelp. The lecturer thought it was me volunteering to answer the question and then I had to make up some nonsense through the pain. I burned myself slightly and ruined my nice trackies, and my room smelt of chicken for a week after. I now have a cold snack rule for lectures – it’s much safer. – Daniel, Exeter

Got a truly awful Zoom lecture story that you think deserves to be told? Send tips to [email protected] or DM us on Instagram!

Related stories recommended by this writer:

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Introducing: The Zoom lecture drinking game

‘We were all silent for 45 minutes’: Students share their worst breakout room stories

*Some names have been changed