The Tab guide: How to look cool in lectures

Become who you were born to be. A lecture BNOC.

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Judging. It’s a sea of judging. Harsh empty looks from eyes dulled by work and sleeplessness. That’s what will confront you when you burst into the lecture room two minutes late, covered in sweat, and being forced to carry your trusty rucksack in your arms because the fucking straps have broken again. This is exactly how not to make friends and wow your compatriots.

Here is an exclusive guide on how to make sure people want to either be you, sleep with you, or in many cases – both.

Make sure you turn up kind of on time. Not too early because then you both look too keen and no one gets to see your entrance. You want to be able to strut your way down the side of the room where everyone can see your fantastic legs and be in awe of how many books you’re carrying, a symbol of both your physical strength and your intellectual prowess.

Walk up and down the aisle looking for an empty seat. If you can’t find anywhere to sit, just make sure to drop something then pick it up seductively – this is a guaranteed way to get someone to make space for you, as everyone will be kicking out their college friends in order to accommodate a regulation hottie.


Why does this exist

Dress to impress. Gap yah printed trousers go down a storm, as does any kind of tweed. You want people’s jaws to drop. Maybe try out that leather item you bought but were always too scared to wear. Double denim is always a good shout. And never be without that Starbuck’s you took a ten minute detour for because you’d never be seen dead without name-brand coffee.

It hardly needs mentioning that you need a MacBook. In all seriousness, in some subjects (History, English, etc) you’re not allowed inside the room unless you leave your non-Apple laptops at the door. Paper and a broken pencil is all that’s good enough for those who don’t worship at the white plastic and stainless steel altar of conspicuous consumption.

If you sit at the front like a loser, all that faces you when you turn around is an orchard of apples blazing at you like lighthouses, and their siren call is impossible to resist, you conforming little university student you.

This is actually inside the Law Faculty

Paying attention is a definite no-no. People around you want to see you texting, using Facebook, or just emailing people from your shiny address. This is a sure-fire way to impress, as anyone whose social life doesn’t make demands on them even when in the faculty is simply too boring to exist. Lectures are the perfect time to do admin or gossip – if your screen is ever on something titled ‘notes’ then how did they even let you in at interview stage because you’re definitely really really boring.

I was judged for taking this.

Always keep the three Ps in mind if you want to cut a dash in the Cambridge lecture scene – poise, pretension, and provocative. The first is obvious. The second should be too. They don’t tell you this before you apply but academics stalk your Facebook page, and take a tally of pictures of you in smoking jackets or jodhpurs and if it’s more than five in the last year you’re in, no matter the grades. Finally perhaps the most important – if what you’re loudly braying in the critical pre-lecture wait isn’t offending at least six people within earshot you’re far too mainstream and square to even be doing a cool subject. Go back to HSPS.

Follow our guide and everyone will know your name.