We asked UoB students for their lecture horror stories

Going above and beyond the average lecture trauma


We've all been that person who walks into a lecture 10 minutes late. You walk in, the room turns to you, calling you out with their eyes and you make the long walk of shame up the stairs to your friends sat at the back. Or even, if you're really unlucky, shuffle into the very front row – right in front of the lecturer who will continue to make solid eye contact with you for the next 40 minutes.

But not all embarrassing lecture stories are created equal – we asked Birmingham students for the worst of the worst, and they really didn't disappoint.

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The demon cough

Saskia, English Lit, third year

"So this was like the winter of second year, and everyone was ill. My friend and I both had that horrible tickly cough that made you reaaaally not want to forget your water in a lecture.

We're walking into the room and my friend starts having a full on coughing fit in this lecture – she’s drawing loads of attention, eyes streaming, hacking away.

I’m starting to get embarrassed too, and she goes out the fire exit at the back to cough it out in peace. Little did she know that everyone in the lecture room could still hear her it was almost more amplified.

And THEN, we realised she was LOCKED OUT of the lecture! Everyone was staring as I figured out how to let her back in."

When it all got a bit too steamy

Jenny, Psychology, fourth Year

"One time my friend opened a sex noise video in a lecture and everyone thought it was me! We were sat in a lecture and he opened it so obviously I cried laughing and made everyone think it was me. It made me feel dead inside is how it made me feel. Our lectures were massive."

Caught faking it

Liv, modern languages, third year.

"I pretended to write something to avoid being chosen by the teacher and they saw. I savagely didn't have a pen in my hand which led to severe awkwardness… There was lots of judgement all round."

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Mid lecture spit-take

Eve, Geology and Physical Geography, third year.

"I picked up the wrong water bottle for a lecture after assuming it was water but when I went to drink it I realised it was vodka which I'd put in there the night before. I spat it out and the whole class and lecturer asked if I was okay. I said it had just gone down the wrong hole."

Falling over in a lecture

Chloe, Medical student, fifth year.

"It was the open day and me and my mum were late for the lecture at the med school. I fell up the stairs in front of the full lecture hall and my mum stood there laughing. Very embarrassing. People looked at me, really good first impression haha."

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Probably THE most traumatic lecture experience you've ever heard

Catherine, Philosophy, third year.

"I'd been on a weekend away so had a huge backpack. When I got paper and pen out my bag, a can of Tennents rolled out and down the steps in the lecture room. The lecturer then asked me 'Is that a beer? No one has ever brought a beer to my lecture before.' He was half angry, half bemused. I got a lot of awkward sympathy looks in my next seminar"

"About 15 minutes later I got a text from my Dad saying that he had bad news, and from that I worked out my nan had died (she'd been ill). Left the room in hysterical tears and texted my housemate asking him to bring my bag home"