Keep your classmates and professors happy by following these tips.

1. Phone and computer volume

Without a doubt you’re familiar with the fact that professors don’t like your technology making loud noises during class. When your phone starts quacking loudly like a duck as your best friend goes on a tangent about last night on iMessage — in the middle of a lecture — not only is it disruptive but it also gets you the awkward stares as you fumble to put the phone on silent. Be sure to mute your computer and phone before class.


2. Distractions

Everybody goes on Facebook on class — especially during those three-hour classes that don't seem to end. But be wary of how distracted you are — especially in a small class where the prof can see you and put you on the spot with a question. Also, avoid gaming, watching sports recaps and Netflix if you're in the front row even if you think you're really sly. Playing League of Legends with your friends or binge watch Stranger Things using subtitles-only can still be distracted for those behind and around you — especially if they aren't caught up with the show.


3. Eating 

It’s fine to bring in snacks, but maybe finish that crunchy, crinkly bag of Lays after class. It can be distracting for the professor teaching and for those trying to tune in, especially after a night at Jack's. I would also recommend avoiding fine dining experiences in the classroom — one of my professors last year said that he had a student bring in an entire rotisserie chicken to a night class, so there's that.


4. Sleeping

Professors generally don’t appreciate it when you fall asleep in their classes. You may get a professor who doesn’t care, but even then, keep the pillow and bedding at home. Not only will you miss out on class but the prof will likely remember you when you go for a reference letter. If you really need the rest, it might be a good idea to sleep in and get a friend or classmate to give you the notes after class — or charge yourself up with a good ol' cup of joe.


5. Going off on tangents

Doing your readings before class is great — you're prepared for the lecture and you likely aren't going to be cramming the night before the exam. But in tutorials and seminars, it can get annoying for others when someone tries to mention everything they've learned. Some days you might be the only one in the class willing to raise your hand and answer questions. The prof appreciates that. But don’t go on a long semi-related tangent that includes heaps of personal stories from your summer in South America. 


6. Gym

The student life is busy and we try to squeeze in a workout whenever we can. But if it's one of those days where you're doing intense cardio and weight training, please shower before coming to class. You might be coming to class drenched in sweat and reeking of BO. While your classmates probably won’t say anything to your face, they're likely really unhappy. 


Bottom line

At the end of the day, the general rule is being respectful of other students and your professors.  If what you're doing could hinder their learning experience, think twice about doing it. Even though you might not care about the lecture, it's important to remember that everyone — including you — is paying to be here and deserves a learning environment free of distractions.

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Ellis is a Culture Editor for Volume 110 of the Gazette. He is a fourth-year Sociology student intent on pursuing a career in journalism. If you wish to reach Ellis, email him at ellis@westerngazette.ca

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