With the new Ice Age upon us, there’s a chance you’ve yet to have all of your classes. Spring semester: different classes, new professors, a chance to up your procrastination game, more tearful phone calls home, more watching Netflix in the nude…
We all know the drill, but in case you forgot: You go over the 10-page syllabus, which is presented as your finite Bible for the next 14 weeks and somehow magically changes three times by the next class. The professor makes a good joke and everyone genuinely laughs, or the professor makes a bad joke and everyone politely chuckles while internally cringing from the overbearing awkwardness. Some noob comes in 15 minutes late. Sometimes you’re that noob. Ultimately, the first day of classes is an unfortunate but necessary evil; however, it allows you to sum up your other classmates! Are they a potential friend or pain in your ass? Your next hookup or replacement drug dealer? Only one way to find out.
- The Know-It-Alls
I know you’ve had to put up with these arrogant boobs since grade school, but they’re still here. Only worse. Whatever class you are taking, the Know-It-All is probably there because it has something to do with their major. In their eyes the class was tailor-made for them, and they insist that everyone else—roommates, classmates, the kid passed out in the Mug, the random squirrel they encounter and especially the professor—accepts that as well. The professor can’t even scratch their left butt-cheek, let alone finish a sentence without the Know-It-All chiming in. They do shit like cite the reading or talk about an “interesting” documentary that vaguely (but not really) has something to do with the current discussion. The Know-It-All talks so much in class that eventually you forget who’s the student and who’s the professor.
This kid’s got smarts and snackage. Constantly littered with ridiculous amounts of sandwiches, cookies, coffee, chips, sodas and pretzels, their desk is a postmodern bodega. When the aroma of their Nilda’s peanut butter chocolate chip cookie wafts over to where you are sitting, your stomach might swan dive deeper into a void of hunger. But even if you want to give them a bitter side-eye, when they walk in late with a coffee and oatmeal cup, no notebook or pen in sight, a stylish scarf pulled taut around their crumb-coated neck, you’ll be giving them the thumbs up.
Now you see them, now you don’t. Typically found in a lecture setting, this kid will be there on the first day—but don’t get your hopes up thinking you’ll see them again. They didn’t drop the class (they will occasionally ask you when a paper is due), they just never care to show up. On the rare occasion they do come to class, it feels a lot like spotting a unicorn or getting to pet a womp-womp—it’s a magical experience. Even the professor is a little thrown off by their presence, clutching their heart in shock. On the more common occasion when they are not there, you find yourself wondering: Where the hell do they go? Are they passing? I bet I could skip class! No, I need a good grade in here. But maybe just once? Just to sleep? Maybe I should ask the Know-It-All. He sat next to Pac-Mac, are they friends? Who are these people?
- Wrong Class Charlies
These students are painfully easy to identify because once the professor starts talking about the class, their eyes widen, they shift uncomfortably in their seat, and they start looking desperately around the room for points of exit. Some just put their head down and charge out of the class, while others do an awkward crab side shuffle along the wall until they get to the door. Some are too terrified to move so they just hang their heads in shame until class is over. Sure, it is easy to laugh at these poor souls, but one has to remember that it can happen to anybody. For some reason, the first day of classes erases any sense of direction you might have had, the campus turns to goo and suddenly all the buildings are impossible to navigate. Especially Blodgett. Godspeed to those of you in Blodgett.