How Not To Be An Asshole: College Class Edition

How Not To Be An Asshole: College Class Edition - ew & pt

After writing 12 Ways To Be Less of an Asshole, I realized just how much the whole trying to be less of a jerk thing could extend beyond life in general and into the smaller facets of life. That was a confusing sentence but basically I thought it might be a nice series.

Perhaps you don’t consider yourself to be an asshole and maybe you aren’t one, but there are definitely habits you (and me, definitely me) can take on or end to be less of an asshole in college classes. Basically here are some ways to make your college classroom a better place. If you want to be as minimally annoying as possible to your professor and fellow classmates, these are some great tips to follow.  Note that this is definitely based on perception and a fairly loose definition of the term “asshole.”

1. Don’t ask questions that have already been answered or are very specific to yourself.

You should always ask questions, but if you’re going to ask questions you best pay attention and not waste the time of your classmates’ with personal issues with your assignments. Asking already answered questions exemplifies asshole behavior because not only does it show that you haven’t been paying attention but also you’re now wasting your classmates’ time because they just had to listen to this answer. If you have a question that you’re not sure if it’s been answered or a question that’s about your own project/work, ask after class or at office hours. 

2. Avoid walking in late, especially if you’re holding a Starbucks cup. 

If you’re late to class, whatever. It happens. Arrive late in a subtle way and slip into the class, don’t make a grandiose entrance and especially don’t walk in with a cup of Starbucks. Everyone else probably wishes they had some coffee but instead they’re on time to class. If you are late and you do have that cup of coffee in your hand, at least try to be subtle about it.

3. Be subtle if you’re on your phone.

Class is boring sometimes, I know. If you must be on your phone, at least attempt to be sly and subtle about it. Don’t be one of those students who blatantly whips out their phone and isn’t even pretending to pay attention. It’s pretty rude.

4. Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb.”

There are literally students who have their phone at full volume in class who text. They don’t even bother to lower it or at least put it on vibrate. I’m not saying you should turn off your phone because honestly I’m not even sure how to turn off my phone at this point because it’s on so much, but I am saying you should at least put it on Do Not Disturb or Airplane mode. It takes less than a second.

5. Stick to your “assigned” seat.

There generally aren’t assigned seats in college, but you’ll start to notice that as the year progresses everyone has a “seat.” It’s their go-to place to park their ass when they’re in class. Stay in your seat. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing that someone’s sitting in the seat you’ve been sitting in all year. This sounds petty and confusing if you’re not in college yet, but this is SUCH a thing. Pick a seat and stay there unless you have a legitimate reason to move, like not being able to see the board or having a broken chair.

6. Don’t Brag about how you didn’t do any assignments or how much you don’t care.

“Haha, my parents are spending $50,000 a year for me to go to college but I didn’t do the homework and I’ll probably get my dad to write my paper. Oh, you going out tonight? We’ll pregame at my place.” – Assholes in the college classroom.

I don’t know why this is a thing, but this has been a thing since high school and I’m so sick of it. Before every class you can always hear at least five kids blabbing about how they didn’t study at all, didn’t even know they had homework hahaha or failed their test because they were hungover. Why are you bragging about being a crappy student? I will never understand why that’s a cool thing to brag about. If you’re going to do this, at least make it entertaining or funny in a self-deprecating way. Plus, if you’re saying these things around someone who is drowning in student loans, trying their hardest and paying their way through college, you’re going to sounds extra awful.

7. Don’t ask to copy assignments or answers.

You’re putting them in an awkward place and cheating isn’t usually worth it. If you don’t know the answers or didn’t do the assignment just accept the crappy grade and try to get your shit together moving forward.

8. Don’t sleep in class.

Common sense. Sometimes you find yourself totally unable to keep your eyelids open but when that happens just get up and go to the bathroom. Walking around and splashing some water on your face will help you wake up a bit.

9. Look at the professor when he/she is speaking.

Have you ever tried speaking to someone who wasn’t even looking at you? It sucks. Even if you don’t care what they’re saying and you’re not actually listening, at least occasionally look up at the professor and acknowledge they’re speaking. Be polite and have some decency.

10. Staple your papers.

It’s not that hard, it’s really not. By handing in an unstapled paper you’re most likely irritating the professor and you’re showing just how little you care about the assignment and how it was most likely done in a last minute rush. Just bring a miniature stapler in your bag, it’s one thing I mentioned in my list of things you’ll forget to pack for college.

11. Keep your shoes on and don’t wear earbuds. 

I shouldn’t have to mention this but I’m absolutely going to. These are things that have happened in my classes and automatically sent off bad vibes. Please just don’t. Don’t take your shoes off. Don’t blatantly be wearing earbuds during class. Most of the class is mentally rolling their eyes at you, especially if the class is boring and there’s not much else to do besides criticizing those around you.

12. Let the professor know if you’re not attending to class.

It doesn’t need to be fancy or formal. You don’t need to tell them your reason. A simple “Professor NAME, Hello I am writing to let you know I will be unable to attend class tomorrow. I will be sure to get any notes or assignments I may have missed. Have a nice weekend! Best, YOUR NAME.” You can use that exact message, just fill in your name. It makes all of the difference and this is what separates the students from the slackers.

What are some college class occurrences that drive you crazy? 

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  • Robbie Eilert

    I hate it when people come to class wearing nothing. Having an early morning class is hard enough, we don’t need to see your belly button while we are there too. Also, I get really pissed off when the teacher is speaking or someone is asking an important question, and other people in the class are having their own side convos. So rude! So distracting!

    • That can be really annoying! I always get frustrated when everyone’s speaking while the professor is, it just seems quite disrespectful.

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