Some of the worst people on campus are the people who walk too slow, the people who huff on their Juul in public and the people who take the last booth at Boulder, but by far the worst people are those who easily turn the first week of a new semester into shark week. Like your upper level philosophy, survival is a requirement. Here's how to conquer the childish antics of your everyday, over eager student.
For example, even if you sit in the back row, always keep your syllabus handy. You'll need it to fashion a shield against the shrapnel of saliva spewing from that one student’s mouth. For those who do not come prepared, especially anyone who thinks they will covertly steal the front middle seat, your 10 am is a suicide mission.
Expect the unexpected.
The only thing worse than syllabus week is week three, when the kid who never shuts up begins to feel ignored. Google "earthquake protocol", because the repeated desk tapping and grunting from the center of the room will send your dear latte to the ground, and awake you from your dedicated zone out time. What you thought would be an easy Tuesday morning can suddenly turn into a downward spiral, but don't let it get the best of you.
Have a survival kit.
It will be essential when encountering this student. Any beverage to keep you hydrated is a necessity, because the amount of sighing that will commence every time you-know-who raises their hand, after a while, becomes very dehydrating.
...and a plan.
For classes with especially unbearable super students, the bathroom technique is necessary for survival. It involves students rotating in and out of the bathroom every 15 minutes. Not everyone can escape, but perfecting the bathroom technique makes sure that more brain cells make it out alive.
Do not challenge them.
Intel uncovered from fellow greyhounds has proved that some classmates do not and will not ever understand that the world is bigger than her closet or his daddy’s business. When in doubt, call in an expert like the professor to diffuse any hostile situation. This might be your first showdown with a student like this, but for many professors, loud-mouthed students are chump change.
Avoiding that one student is impossible, but knowing how to safely navigate them makes any class, core or upper levels, survivable. Whatever the circumstances, build a pencil case fort, arm yourself with coffee, and take a deep breath, because it’s going to be a long lecture and an even longer semester.