How to fake your way through lectures

The first step is attending

Fresher’s week is over, the flu you swore you wouldn’t catch has set in and now you have to like, learn and stuff?

Step One: Preparation
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so the saying goes. Bear this in mind before you stumble into your first lecture.

You will need tissues, water, as much pro-plus as your withering hungover body can take, and a snack. Do this and you stand a chance of making it through the lecture without ‘resting’ your eyes or risking the mating call of a whale emanating from your stomach.



Step Two: Camouflage 
You will need to blend into the environment in order to avoid detection. Stealth will reduce the risk of being singled out by lecturers and being asked questions you just don’t understand.

A nice large hoodie is perfect for evasion; it will keep you comfy and warm and it’s safe to say most other people will be wrapped up in similar attire, clinging on like new-born babies to the only shred of comfort they can find in the cold and unforgiving embrace of the lecture theatre.

Step Three: Acting
You don’t have to be a thespian to pull this step off, just stick to the basics. A carefully employed nod will fool your lecturer into thinking that you do actually understand the noises coming from their mouth.

Simply copying the lecture notes (doodling is equally effective) can also give the illusion that you are fully engaged with a lecture you feel is slowly but surely eroding your sanity.

Yet the secret weapon, the final manoeuvre in your campaign to wing it, is the old ‘furrowed brow’. A furrowed brow is particularly effective because it looks as if you’re challenging what you’re being told, as if you’re engaging the content on a level most students didn’t know existed. Deploying a furrowed brow will intimidate those around you, instilling paranoia and panic whilst you focus on trying not to faint.

Use this wisely young padawan.


Step Four: Encore
You’ve done the main show, now to put the icing on the cake.

You may be on the verge of throwing up, crying and giving up but the way you depart your lecture is where your acting skills are put to the test. Many will be itching to pack away, eyes glued to the clock. You must resist such temptation. Timing is key here, patience a virtue.

Wait until the majority of your fellow flu-ridden friends cave in an unceremonious rush to shove their belongings away before you even go near your notes. This will fool the most celebrated academic into thinking that you actually cared about their lecture. Lecturers are often looking for love, and this is a great way to flatter them and put you in their good books.


So there you have it, a fool-proof guide to surviving and thriving in the inhospitable and unforgiving climes of the lecture theatre. You can go and cry in your room now. That’ll do Fresher, that’ll do…