Like all public spaces, there are some certain unspoken rules that need to be followed at all times. The problem with unspoken rules is even though most people pick up on them, there are always a few people who are happy, oblivious, and sometimes kinda annoying.
Uni is a unique environment for unspoken rules. It’s not your home, even though you might live on campus, so your class is literally five minutes away from your bedroom, and you probably spend more time there than you do at home, especially around exams. And it’s not quite the same environment as a school. No uniforms, no constant supervision, less restrictions.
But with this extra adult freedom, there are a few common courtesies that need to be adhered to, to ensure that your uni experience is as friendly and fun as possible, to keep it feeling just like home.
So please don’t…
Take your shoes off
It saddens me that I even have to mention this, but please just keep your shoes on your feet where they belong. Think of your classrooms like a dentist’s office or the supermarket or gee, I don’t know, a classroom. Are they really places where it is socially acceptable to be barefoot and carefree? No. Not even a little bit. Sure, it’s probably not hurting anyone or even that distracting, but it’s just straight up weird. If you do it often, people might start to think you’re weird. No one will tell you to your face, so just take this as your warning.
Occupy three seats at once
The maximum amount of seats it is socially acceptable to occupy at one time is two. And this is only if you know that there is going to be enough room for the other people in your class. No matter how much stuff you have, there will always be room on the floor for it. Very few things are so precious that they need their own seat. If you’re so apprehensive about having people sitting next to you, try my own personal tip crafted from many bad moods: sit on the end of a row, and then place your bag on the seat next to you, and spread your books over the whole desk. Ahhh, personal space.
Make it about you
Class discussions are great. They’re a place where students can share ideas, challenge others, ask questions, and focus the discussion on the assignment they’re working on and how this relates to their trip to Italy in 2012. Hang on, one of these things does not belong. Hear me now and remember this: there is a time and a place to discuss your assignment with your class and with your teacher. Most teachers will dedicate a tute to talking about essay topics before it’s due, so you don’t need to worry about having time to talk to everyone about it. Just don’t hijack a lesson about another topic to ask about assignments. If you have a really burning question, wait until the end of the lesson when the teacher asks if there are questions, or stay back and talk to your teacher by yourself. Remember, everyone has a right to learn.