If you’re sitting there reading this and telling yourself that you haven’t EVER encountered these types of personalities in your lectures during your time at university, then you are definitely kidding yourself. It may be a new semester, and you may have new classes, but no matter what, you will always undeniably and inevitably be blessed with the presence of the same type of lecture folk that seem to never leave your company.
Love them or hate them, you can’t really get away from them. Here’s a guide to identify these fine humans.
1. The Snack Attacker
It starts with the surprisingly loud crunch of a granola bar. Then, that turns into a candy wrapper fidgeting fiasco, and before you know it, this person has arranged a full-on buffet for themselves right there in your lecture hall. The passionate crunching, the chewing, the constant fiddling with candy bar wrappers, the opening and closing of surprisingly loud Tupperware — it doesn’t stop. And you ask yourself: is this person aware of the ASMR live podcast that they are giving? Probably not. They continue to sit there and destroy that extreme crunch apple cinnamon granola bar like their life depends on it without a care in the world.
Where can we find this person? Weirdly enough, always conveniently sat close to you maximizing the volume. As annoying as this all may feel, next time this person brings in some Popeyes chicken strips and fries, you may as well ask them to share, right?
2. The “Welcome to my Ted Talk”
A.K.A. the let-me-tell-you-my-life-story classmate. No matter what class you are in, no matter what the lecture topic is, this person will always — and I mean ALWAYS — find a way to weave in how their life story is totally relatable to the class content and therefore must be relevant. You could be sitting in a two-hour history class about Napoleon’s reign over Europe and this kid will probably find an opportunity to twist the conversation around and share with the class how he ‘totally gets it’ because it’s how he felt ‘this one time.’
Not only does this person turn the classroom into a show-and-tell experience for one, but they also derail the content for the rest of the lecture. By the time your exam comes around, you’ll find yourself gradually composing this person’s biography. And guess what? They’d probably love to read it.
3. The Debater
This person is like that one song that was sort of your jam for a while so you ended up listening to it way too much, and now every time it starts to play on shuffle you dash to switch it to something else. The only difference here? Well, it’s real life and you can’t shuffle past this person like an annoying song on your Spotify playlist.
This person will always, without a doubt, have something to say — or more likely, debate — with whatever the professor is talking about. Every lecture ends up making you feel like you’re watching the 2016 Trump and Clinton Presidential debates on repeat; you can’t help but sing to yourself ‘here we go again!’
So sit back, get comfortable, grab a soda or some popcorn, and settle down for what will feel like a long ride to the finish line — or to the end of class at least.
4. The Snoozer
Ah yes, the source of many student memes that circulate; the classic student with their head tilted back or hunched on the table where they appear to be trying to catch up on that extra hour of sleep they lost when they woke up to scramble to class. Funny enough, this is the same person that probably stayed up all night catching up on their latest Netflix binge even though they claimed to have been studying.
However, while you’re sitting there being attentive as possible, you can’t help but envy how comfortable this person appears to be and how easily they have drifted away into a snooze. As they continue to rock their head back and forth as they drift in and out of sleep to the voice of your professor, you may think to yourself ‘why am I not falling asleep?’ Everybody’s got to do something to get through the day, even if it’s taking a wee nap, smack in the middle of all your peers. Go figure.
5. The Buzzfeed Baddie
Depending on the time of day, what class it is, or how much coffee you’ve had, this person could be you! Most likely to be located in the middle or the back of the classroom giggling and smiling at their computer screen, this person has occupied themselves with all the possible, ‘what does your coffee drink say about your love life’ quizzes to eye-catching rainbow cake baking videos you can possibly imagine. Needless to say, this person spends more time analyzing their Buzzfeed quiz results than understanding what is actually going on in class.
Now, every so often they’ll lift their head and give the occasional yes-I-am-listening head nod to try and appear as though they’ve been paying attention, but at the end of the day, this person is probably having a better time in class than you are. Some call it ‘distraction,’ but us students like to call it ‘entertainment.’
And then there’s you. You’re reading this and probably thinking to yourself how many of these characters you can — or actually have — identified so far. And if you’re having some trouble spotting them out, sit and think to yourself: which one am I?