Correlation does not imply Causation — except when talking about lanyards


They seemed average at first, but as I approached them to take a seat, I noticed something that will haunt me for the rest of my days: a sea of lanyards.

Andrew Walsh | Cavalier Daily

Psych 1010 is a popular class. It fills up most semesters, and it can be hard to get into. As a potential psychology major, I knew I had to take it to see if the major was for me. I put it off all my first year and fall semester my second year. But this semester I decided it was time for me to finally enroll and take the class — you know, to see what I was missing. Well, turns out the class probably would have been better missed. Now, it’s not the professor or anything. He’s a great guy. Interestingly enough, it’s the students. However, they aren’t just any students — they are the most dreaded, bold and, most importantly, unpredictable kind. First-years. And now, I was on their turf. Something I should have considered in an intro class, but it was too late for me now. I’ll take you through my first day. 

I walk into the lecture hall, and the class looks promising at first. Everyone is complaining about the 2 p.m. time of the class — something I heavily relate to. But similar to Clueless, the class was a Monet. They seemed average at first, but as I approached them to take a seat, I noticed something that will haunt me for the rest of my days: a sea of lanyards. Yes, you heard me right. Everyone within sight had a lanyard with their freshly printed class of 2021 student IDs attached. I gasped in horror. This can’t be right, I thought to myself. Unfortunately, as the first lecture went on, it became clearer and clearer to me that I was surrounded by first years. 

As an introductory lecture, the professor asked us if we had any starting questions about the syllabus. These questions were so terrible that they made me consider leaving lecture prematurely. One was about the first exam. The student asked our professor if there would be a word bank. A word bank. I just can’t make this stuff up. Another student asked how hard the tests would be and if we should over- or understudy. Again, I can’t make this stuff up. The final blow was someone asking how many sentences each short response answer should be. At that point, I got up and walked out of lecture. As the semester has gone on, it has only gotten worse. 

Probably one of the worst instances was when the professor tried to warm the class up by a “funny” psych study. It studied stranger anxiety by measuring micturition times. Disclaimer: micturition means pee — if you don’t know, now you know. It’s a weird study nonetheless, but I wouldn’t say it was comical. However, the class just lost it when he talked about it. A girl in front of me even laughed saying “omg micturition means pee!!!” All of her friends seemed to really think this was funny. I mean I guess you do you, right? But, guess what? They were all wearing lanyards. They say correlation does not imply causation, but I mean come on.

As the weeks have passed, I’ve noticed a lot of them have traded in their lanyards for a cardholder on the back of their phones, which is a step in the right direction. However, a select few do continue to wear the lanyards. There are three in particular that sit in front of me who say the darndest things. In fact, I even know one of their names! But only because he talks to the professor before every single class and proceeds to ask a question every single lecture. Today, he asked what the short answer questions would be. I’m not kidding. I was completely astonished, but also secretly impressed at his boldness. He’s definitely on the next level of the word bank kid. I mean talk about blunt. The professor even gave him a look as to say did you just ask me that.

Before the semester ends, I’m planning on sitting the three of them down and telling them that it’s going to be okay — they just need to take those f—king lanyards off. 

Sarah Holzgrefe is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

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