Every type of person you’ll find in your Lincoln Uni online seminar

For the love of god, don’t be the smug one

2020 has been a strange year and there’s never been a stranger time to be a uni student. Online learning has been the biggest change of all and who would have thought in lockdown 1.0 that we’d still be sat here staring grimly at our laptop screens for yet another online seminar. As we’ll likely be stuck with it a while longer yet, we’ve compiled a concise breakdown of every type of person you’ll find in your Lincoln Uni online seminar to help you navigate the tricky world of the online seminar.

The smug one

The smug one LIVES for online seminars. They’ve carefully arranged their room to best show off the view of the cathedral from their window, freshly made their white bedsheets, and strategically placed mirrors for the best lighting. You’ve set an alarm for five minutes before the seminar starts and consider propping yourself up with an extra cushion both productive and your daily exercise.

This person has been up since 6am cooking a fresh breakfast, going for a 5k run, and putting together an influencer-worthy outfit. You’ve started to wonder whether a dressing gown is a bit too formal. They write notes constantly in their pastel notebook whilst the rest of us stare at our blank page and realise we’ve not listened to a word. ‘Next week I’m going to be the smug one’ you tell yourself. You never are, and would you really want to be?

The silent one

We’ve all been the silent one at least once. Whether hungover, tired, bored, ill, or just not having done the reading or work, the silent one is just here for the attendance and to say they’ve logged in. The worst nightmare for the silent one is either a breakout room (shudder) or being directly called out by the tutor.

In the eventuality of either of these events the silent one has to be commended for their commitment – there’s nothing better than listening to someone make crackling noises as they pretend their connection has gone. If the silent one is feeling bold they might even leave the seminar halfway through and try to sneak away. We see you and have never been more jealous.

The hero

The hero is the epitome of taking one for the team. When everyone in the seminar is being the silent one, this warrior steps in and answers the question. Never smug, the hero simply alleviates the awkward silence with a simple answer then respectfully retreats. Likely the flat mum or dad cooks the best food and provides the best late-night chats. You are all of our heroes.

The non-existent one

The non-existent one is a completely different creature from the silent one. Apparently still on the course, when the seminar comes around this person is still in bed with their laptop off (or maybe in a different country, or playing extreme sports, or feeding the swans in the Brayford).

The non-existent one is an enigma, but whatever they’re doing they’re definitely too cool to be sat in bed at 9am staring at a blank screen with the rest of us. You’re either very jealous of the non-existent one, or just feel grateful that at least there’s someone attending less than you. A true mystery.

The one who will not shut up

They’ve done all the reading for the seminar and researched the topic for hours and don’t we all know it. The seminar often turns into a personal conversation between this person and the tutor as no one else can get a word in (no one else has done the reading but that’s beside the point).

You inevitably and unfortunately know them from your on-campus sessions, where they act exactly the same and you continue to avoid them. Probably the course rep definitely takes fancy dress a little too seriously. At least eye rolls are less obvious behind a screen.

The weird one

There’s always a weird one and they really need no explanation: they were strange before online learning and they’ve somehow taken it up a level. Their chaotic energy radiates through your screen as they appear 30 minutes late. Never the silent one (whether they know what they’re talking about or are even in the right seminar for their course), the weird one will somehow still manage to talk for the rest of the seminar whilst alternating between flicking their camera and sound on and off at regular intervals (no one else has had either on once).

The weird one is creative but without fail at some point in the seminar they will do or say something just plain weird. These antics at least provide much-needed entertainment but when you’re left wondering if you’re awake, still drunk or just hearing voices, it’s a bit worrying: this person is only emboldened by online university and God knows what they’ll be like by the time we’re back on campus. Praying for us all.

As strange as online learning is we might as well embrace it, we’re paying £9,250 for this.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Everything you need to know before coming to Lincoln uni that the prospectus didn’t tell you

A concise breakdown of every type of Fresher you will meet at Lincoln

My last bit of in person teaching was cancelled and now I’ve had enough