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These are the different types of students you’ll find in a Newcastle University lecture

Be honest, you’re not an academic weapon


Having braved nearly three years of hungover lectures, I can safely say I am extremely familiar with the blooming environment of the Bedson Building in the morning… and it is bizarre. I mean, David Attenborough-style monologues could be written about the way people act in the constraints of the lecture hall: “Here we have the hungover first year, pale and trembling, desperately trying to make eye contact with the potential mate they bought a blue treb for last night…”

Seriously though, picture it: 9:05am on a Thursday, and you’ve just stumbled into your first lecture of the day. Last night’s bottles of Tesco zesty wine and cheesy chips are threatening to make a reappearance.

You’ve googled “can I die from a hangover?” an embarrassing number of times, and you’re close to tears thinking about the atrocities you committed on the Soho pole a mere eight hours ago. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there, and your attendance will thank you for braving yet another hungover 9am. Take a deep breath and look around you. Witness the thriving ecosystem of students outside of their natural habitats (their beds; or the queue for Toon takeaway, depending on the time of day.)

From academic weapons to posh boys, this is a definitive list of the people you’ll meet in a Newcastle uni lecture.

The Devil’s Advocate

He’s sat in the front row with a level of delusion rivalled only by Selena Gomez claiming she’s taking a social media break, only to return to Instagram an hour later playing slur scrabble. He will let the lecturer speak for maybe two minutes before the irresistible urge to hear his own voice becomes too much to handle, and suddenly half the lecture has been taken up by an eighteen-year-old in a polo shirt questioning the knowledge of a literal expert in the field they’ve been studying for three months. Thanks for passing the time, I guess?

‘She doesn’t even go here!’

Yes, I went to see the new Mean Girls recently, and they got one thing right: There’s always that one person in the class who you’re not even sure is on your course. There’s no laptop in front of them, no notepad; they’re not even pretending to take notes. They’ve got nothing but the faint smell of a blue razz elf bar and a dream, yet somehow, they’ll probably breeze through with a first at graduation.

The posh twat

Rah, where’s my trust fund? Often confused with the devil’s advocate, this species of student comes complete with a pair of Dickies and aggressively nineties curtain bangs. They came in five minutes late with nothing but a MacBook Pro pinched precariously between their thumb and finger – the thought that they might drop it is not even mildly concerning. After all, what’s a few thousand pounds for a new one among heirs to Saltburn-esque estates? There are more important things to think about, like Jonty and Monty’s induction into the rugby society later that night and scouring Vinted for a new skinny scarf.

The online shopper

This student spends most of the lecture sneaking between an almost empty Word document and the ASOS sale. Their overdraft is maxed out, and that’s no surprise considering the wish list which rivals even me in 2009 after being let loose with a highlighter and an Argos catalogue. You might be here for a lecture, but this is just a stepping stone in their 10 year plan to get to the Met Gala. Makes sense – even Anna Wintour would be astounded by the bikini they’ve just nabbed for a fiver (it is the middle of winter).

The one who is equally as hungover as you

Oh, sweet relief. Just as you’re starting to give up hope, in walks your guardian angel: A comrade in arms, stinking of Jägermeister and their parent’s disappointment. You are no longer alone in the hangxiety and aggressive nausea which has been making you question your existence up to this point, and a crisp diet coke from the student’ union Co-op to accompany you and debrief after the lecture is restoring your will to live. They’re inevitably going to convince you to come out again tonight, and the idea isn’t actually so unappealing…

The academic weapon