Call it pet peeves, poor manners, bad habits or whatever you want – we see it everyday in class. Some of the things go unnoticed by many, while others are as annoying or offensive as nails on a chalkboard to students and professors alike. We’re all guilty at one point or another but sometimes it is due to conditions that are out of our control and other times we perform them with a blatant disregard of everyone else in the classroom.
Arriving late: Perhaps one of the most debatable etiquettes, tardiness nevertheless represents yourself as an unprepared college student. Let’s face it people, arriving “fashionably late” to a lecture doesn’t have the same effect as that at a party. More than likely you’ve missed the professor’s announcement of changed office hours or that the handouts of today’s lecture has already been passed out. Not to mention that the only seat left is the one furthest from the door, forcing you to trip across every backpack with irritated glares in return. We’re all responsible adults that can tell time, so let’s make a little extra effort to be prompt.
Cell phones: Traveling from class to class you will, at one point or another, forget to switch them back to vibrate. On the other hand it doesn’t take too much of a conscious effort on test days to press a couple of buttons to preserve the sanctity of the room. We can all make an attempt to shield the rest of the class from our Usher or Jack Johnson ring tones as they struggle to take a complex integral on their finals, can’t we?
Seating: Perhaps the most unknown (and annoying) classroom misdemeanor. During the first week of class the students will generally claim a specific seat in the room. After the first week (grace period), seats are generally preset but the day will come where you arrive to find the one kid who’s attended class on only the first day snugly planted in your seat. This affects the whole area and sets off a chain reaction: you must now occupy another student’s pre-determined desk and everyone who arrives ensuing will give the unfamiliar occupant a dirty look. Please sit consistently in your own chair or grab one in the back.
Talking in halls: As we find ourselves trying to pay attention, at times we’ll overhear full conversations being conducted by inconsiderate individuals walking outside of the open doors while classes are in full swing. Honestly, we don’t care how badly you just bombed your test (accompanied by some very audible obscenities) or who’s having a party Friday night (okay maybe we do about that one). Keep your voices down until you make it out the building.
Leaving: Us students love attending class, but we love leaving even more. Little do some students understand that professors tend to speedily cram in the most important conclusions to what they had been working towards the entire hour at the end. Ultimately it’s your loss when you pack up early only so that you can be out the door as the instructor’s last words (uttering the homework assignment) leaves his mouth. The shuffling of papers and clicking of 3-ring binders do act as a respectful hint to the unaware professor that their time is nearing an end though.
By adhering to these recommendations you should be able to avoid making a bad impression on your instructor while pleasing your colleagues. Not only that, but you’ll also evade the other 30 pairs of eyes staring at you with sleep creases across your forehead as you walk out of the classroom 45 seconds early, chatting on your cell phone and not hearing about the quiz that will be taking place tomorrow. Have some respect for yourself, your professor and especially those around you.
Glen Sun is an electrical engineering senior and a Mustang Daily guest columnist.