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Students typically arrive at their classroom venue already on edge. There is a laundry-list of possible reasons why (usually the fact that they have to be there in the first place) you don’t want to be in class. To make matters worse, besides factors that are beyond our control, such as limited legroom and uncomfortably close seats, the classroom environment is made evermore unfavourable at times. Many students can be a hazzard zone for ridiculousness.

1. “A social misunderstanding”

There seems to be social misunderstandings regarding what constitutes lecture hall etiquette. With the particularly short fuse and ego-fragility notions of the common student, being seated next to someone eating really cheesy-smelling snacks is extremely unpleasant. Also, being the culprit of a social blunder with a lecturer, is one among many scenarios universally preferred to be avoided at all costs. The following are therefore a few nationally, if not globally, recognized rules by which to abide, to ensure a (somewhat) harmonious hour of classroom confinement.

2. “Not just any seat”

If you plan to occupy a seat in an as of yet empty row, do not seat yourself at the very end.

This is an uncomfortable seat for all the students. It is uncomfortable to take the first seat before the class starts. Take it from someone who knows.

The students, who now have to squeeze past you to reach the other empty seats in a row, do not like it in any way. You are not a gatekeeper, really! Don’t be one of those students.

3. “Be punctual”

Punctuality is a virtue, lost among millennials. Any student who arrives late needs to adhere to the very infamous “walk of shame”, to get to their place. Let’s revive punctuality? And let’s be honest, the late comers never really concentrate in class. After the dramatic entrance a late comer must focus on keeping a straight face, ever since the whole classroom’s focus is turned to them.

4. “Do not come to class sick, please?”

Please get your runny nose or post-nasal drip under control before entering the classroom. The rest of the class would appreciate your consideration if you do not give your contagious germs to them. Rather go to Campus Health, please and thank you.

5. “Couple goals, no goals”

No, we do not think that the PDA with your campus-crush is ‘goals’. No one actually cares about your romantic love life. The classroom also happens to be the wrong place to discuss your intimate relationship or weekend drama. There are honestly more important things in life. Those things happen to be work and paying attention during class.

6. “The yes ma’am rule”

Adhere to a school environment’s maxim of strictly using just teacher-student communication. You should thus refrain from addressing lecturers by their first names under all circumstances. Rather make use of deferent pronouns such as ‘ma’am’, ‘sir’, ‘miss’, ‘mister’, ‘professor’ etc.

7. “Last question, please”

Absolutely no questions in the last two minutes of class, please. Lecturers love to answer questions that get asked in the last minutes of class. Once a lecturer gets asked a question, they will go on explaining the answer for at least another, extra ten minutes. And the whole class has to wait for the lecturer’s answer. If you really ask a smart question, the lecturer might keep the class for even longer.

8. “Pick up that gum of yours”

Please leave with your litter (that includes the gum you’ve stuck under the desk/seat). It is rude to litter.

No one wants to touch your gum under the seat. Leave the classroom in the state that you have found it. It is called respecting ones peers.

9. “Private conversations for private spaces”

Keep private conversations for a private environment.

No one wants to hear about your crazy night out.

Everyone keeps to their own during lectures.

Be careful what you say in class, the person you are gossiping about might be behind you.

10. “Watch your tone”

Remember that the views expressed in a lecture series are not necessarily the lecturer’s own; if you therefore have an opinion that differs, please watch your tone.

And do no write your opinion in an argumentative essay.

It is a big trap when you are asked to do that.

The lecturers usually like to read their own opinion in essays.

That will get you good marks.

“It is a privilege”

Lastly, actually attend your classes and make sure you’re prepared.

Education is a privilege.

Photo: Armin Prinsloo

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