Things you only know if your course doesn’t have many people on it
Why does this lecture theatre feel so empty?
When you think of uni, your mind straight away goes to the filled lecture halls you’ve seen on TV with row upon row of note-taking students to feast your eyes upon, but if you arrive and discover your course has only 75 students, this image goes straight out of the window. Over the course of the first year, you discover a few things…
Firstly, having only about 25 people in a lecture is not uncommon
After half your coursemates skip and the rest are mysteriously ‘ill’, the room begins to look as sparsely populated as a flower garden in mid-Winter – particularly on a Monday morning at 9am.
You get called on because the lecturer knows everybody’s name (or thinks they do)
There is no escaping that question related to the reading you didn’t do, and sliding further down into your chair isn’t going to help matters as your lecturer points at you, incorrectly naming you despite having made this same error every week.
Your absence is noticed
And commented on. You sweat profusely as you enter the room, your lecturer noting that it’s ‘nice of you to join us’.
You never get to sit in a lecture theatre (so you feel like you’re back at school)
Even though you know full well that the 30 people turning up would look ridiculous, you long to know what it’s like to have lectures in a room with more than 80 chairs.
And your limited classroom experience means you get lost whenever you need to be somewhere else
You know everybody on your course by name…and could probably list their hometowns, schools, parents’ occupation, blood group…
In such a small group, it’s hard not to pick up everyone’s name, and it means you (probably) have most of them on Facebook, too, after adding them in your keen fresher days when you wanted to make as many friends as possible. You’ve gone through the same generic conversation with mostly everyone, asking where they’re from, whether this was their first choice, if they’re enjoying the course…
Sleeping in lectures just isn’t a possibility…and when it does happen, people pick up on it straight away
Not only will your lecturer notice and probably low-key hate you for the rest of the term, but your peers think it’s hilarious, and take selfies with you whilst you doze off peacefully, or ring your phone with your volume on full to give you a ‘hilarious’ wake up call.
Being on the internet, Snapchat or Instagram is almost impossible
Most people sit in their lectures with their laptop on split-screen; notes on one side and ASOS/Facebook/Twitter on the other, but that’s not quite so easy in a group of about 30…
…because these lecturers PACE THE CLASSROOM
And you can’t avoid the watchful eyes of an ignored professor, especially when the rows of chairs are small enough to see everybody’s screen clearly.
Laughing fits are dangerous
Ever randomly think of something hilarious and start silently laughing so hard that you cry? Yeah, not possible in a small course. Not only do you get weird looks from your classmates, but your lecturer might well stop teaching to ask what’s so funny.
But there are benefits of being on a small course, too…
You have group chats for your course that aren’t entirely out of control
It isn’t *completely* unreasonable to imagine that your hot lecturer notices you
Even though realistically he probably hasn’t even noticed you, but oh well.
And finally, you like to think that you’re pretty good friends with more or less everyone on your course
…which is never a bad position to be in. Cue drinks, cute meals, and birthday celebrations at any excuse.