There are parts of classroom etiquette that are positively essential. There are some things that you just don’t do. Some things are disruptive for students, create a hostile classroom environment and take away from teacher’s ability to teach and students’ ability to learn. At the very least, some things won’t make you very many friends.

So please, I think I speak for everyone, do not be this guy:

The guy who smacks his gum or chews crunchy food really loud. Seriously, if you’re in college, you should have learned how to chew with your mouth closed. Nature Valley granola bars are one of the messiest snacks; please don’t make my lecture hall your cafeteria.

The guy who is always late to class. Nobody really cares that you’re late every now and again, but every day?

The guy that never brings a pencil or notebook; nobody wants to babysit you. If you’re going to show up, show up prepared.

The guy who always wants to argue with the professor. Considering they were able to get a job here, they have qualifications to teach the class. They have extensive knowledge and background to be where they are. If you want to pick a fight or debate with them, they have office hours for a reason.

The guy who answers every rhetorical question out loud. They’re rhetorical for a reason; they’re meant to give us some time to think the idea over and ponder the facts or reading. Please do not pollute our thoughts, our ears, or the general classroom environment by blabbing your personal thoughts.

The guy who doesn’t hold the door open for people. Excuse me, but you are not better than anyone else in this classroom. Nobody is too important to not be nice to people. Hold the door open. Say please and thank you.

The guy who plays music without headphones. Or worse, the guy who plays music with headphones but at a volume where they may as well be playing music without headphones. Not everyone in the classroom wants to listen to your “fire” mixtape.  

The guy who brings up politics when it’s not necessary to the lesson. Unless you’re a political science major, keep your conservative or liberal or personal political thoughts and opinions out of our learning environment. Stats class isn’t the time or the place to argue gun control or abortion rights.

The guy who doesn’t contribute anything to the group project. If you want to sabotage your own GPA, then so be it, but when it comes to sabotaging your classmates, please don’t. Drop the class if you can’t be there and be supportive.

The guy who always makes a scene about EVERYTHING. Have you considered one of our many theatre arts majors?

The guy who brings their kids or brings animals that aren’t service animals. I signed up to listen to an hour and a half of psychology, not an hour and a half of kids crying. Please find a sitter.

The guy who comes to class sick. Get a doctor’s note. Don’t come to class and sit next to people.

The guy who is always on their phone. I get sent a text or two, but never looking up from your phone? Rude. Just don’t. Please.

Be considerate to your professors, other students and the overall classroom environment.

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith is a sophomore at Colorado Mesa University studying English and Criminal Justice with minors in Psychology and Sociology. She is the Editor of Photography for The Criterion and has been photographing since 8 years old. After undergraduate, she plans to continue her education by attending law school.


  1. This is the most condescending article I’ve ever read. I thought the Criterion was a paper dedicated to community and supporting student life with meaningful pieces, not fuming about personal pet peeves. Waste of a time publishing something so cynical.

  2. THIS WAS A WASTE OF MY TIME… Please do us a favor and write an article on “Don’t let people like Casey Smith write for The Criterion”… Please.

  3. In address to the opening of doors:
    it seems unreasonable to say all are equal and then expect special treatment. It is far from my obligation to hold a door and dance around so that you feel well treated, opening doors to places you want to go is what college is all about so please, don’t hold others to your Victorian standard of gender rolls.


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