What is proper lecture etiquette?

A lesson most students appear to have missed


Being at university, you quickly understand that there are a series of unwritten rules that everyone generally follows. Things like don't ask hard questions in seminars to each other, always repay your debts on a night out and don't be a major flake when it comes to group work. These are common knowledge and yet most students remain clueless that attending a lecture also comes with guidelines.

So here is a beginner’s guide of what NOT to do in a lecture…

1. Don’t sit at the end of a row. By yourself. Especially if you have the temperament of a wild boar.

An informative diagram of an inconsiderate student.

An informative diagram of an inconsiderate student.

The wild boar is considered the most ferocious animal and, unfortunately, closely resembles most of the students who choose to sit on the end of a row (see diagram above). If there is one thing that is certain, nobody wants to climb over 3 bags, a tall latte and five apple macs that daddy bought you to get a seat in a 9am lecture. Yet some students still like to inconsiderately place themselves in the way.

And when asked politely to move? More often than not, some kind of inner wild boar is released, with aggressive sighs and disapproving frowns. The protesting is normally for show, but some go as far as ‘accidentally’ tripping you up.

It’s not overly difficult to sit on the furthest seat from the aisle. If, for some unfathomable reason, you need to sit in the way then at least be considerate when letting the ones with common sense past. You must be at least semi intelligent to get into uni, so put those brain cells to good use and think about where you sit.

2. Yo G, take the baseball cap off. Its not sunny inside a lecture theatre btw.

Too cool for school ft. Pumpkin '17.

Too cool for school ft. Pumpkin '17.

What is the purpose of wearing a hat indoors? It’s comparable to popping open an umbrella for eating a doughnut (what? why?). The chances of sun shining brightly from the ceiling are slim, especially in Leicester, and nobody cares about your bed-head hair.

It is also very rude. Especially when a lecturer is talking to you for an hour without being able to make eye contact. Originally, it was knights who removed their helmets in front of their king as a sign of respect. Break the custom and beloved King Richard III would be very disappointed. Off with your heads.

Quick side note, hats off (kind off) to the triers who bother to spin their cap around during the lecture.

3. Don't interrupt the lecturer, who is sharing some information that could save us in an exam, by shouting that 'WE' can't hear them.

This is a true story. The kind that makes your stomach twist and want to cover your ears.

Not only is it uncomfortable for the lecturer, but it’s uncomfortable for everyone else in the lecture room. This is not only because you shouted but because you used ‘we’ as if everyone else backs your ill-mannered decision. Well we don’t. We kinda want to pass this module and you interrupting isn't helping us get any closer to that goal. Please just raise your hand, wait for him to finish the sentence then speak.

4. Please refrain from resting your feet on the chair in front.

A highly disguised torture trap.

A highly disguised torture trap.

Karma makes this rule more applicable to lecture seats than any other public place. When you place your dirty shoes on the back of an empty seat, waiting for the lecture to begin, you’re probably unaware that you might just lose your foot.

Aside from making it harder for people to get to seats, see rule 1, if someone chooses to sit on the seat in front of you, it turns into a medieval vice instrument. Your foot is trapped, your eyes begin to water and all you can do is whisper your pleas for the person to stand up.

From a traumatic, personal experience, know that it hurts more than anything and the bruise lasts for at least a week.

And there you have it, a lesson in proper lecture etiquette complete. See you next week.