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Top 10 things to not do during an in-person class

We’ve had a month of in-person classes 一 here’s what we should stop doing

<p>Taking your mask off just to cough directly into your hand defeats the purpose of this protective measure and can spread illnesses if you have a cold, flu or COVID-19.&nbsp;</p>

Taking your mask off just to cough directly into your hand defeats the purpose of this protective measure and can spread illnesses if you have a cold, flu or COVID-19. 

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10. Walk slowly out of the exit

If you have ever had two back-to-back classes where you need to escape a lecture hall to walk across grounds, then you know just how frustrating it is when people walk slowly through or even block the exits. Even sitting in the back doesn’t always help with the traffic getting out of class. If you are not in a rush, try to let the folks in a hurry out first so they can run to their next class. 

9. Talk loudly to friends during a lecture

It’s already hard enough to hear when you’re in a large lecture hall with poor quality speakers or microphones. Loudly talking to your friends next to you can be really distracting, especially when your conversation is really off topic. You can always whisper quietly if you have a question about the material, or you can even text each other if you get bored and want to talk about something else. 

8. Take your mask off to cough

I didn’t think this would have to be said, but the pandemic always has surprises for us. Masks, while annoying, really help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses. Taking it off just to cough directly into your hand defeats the purpose of this protective measure and can spread illnesses if you have a cold, flu or COVID-19. Keep your mask on to get the full benefits of it, and if you must take it off, cough or sneeze into your shoulder so that it doesn’t get onto every surface you touch. 

7. Dominate the conversation when there’s a participation grade

Classes with a participation grade are often tricky, as you never know how much you have to participate and what exactly that might look like. However, constantly talking in discussion so that no one can speak can affect other people’s ability to contribute to their grade and can take away from a meaningful conversation. When in a discussion-heavy class, try to look out for anyone who looks like they have wanted to say something for a while or for someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to contribute. Making space for people in discussions can make the class more enjoyable and helps ensure that everyone has an opportunity for those sweet participation points. 

6. Sit next to a wall outlet if you don’t need it

Many lecture halls and classrooms have a limited number of seats that have access to wall outlets, which is especially noticeable when you take notes on your laptop and it is at 20 percent. If you can help it, try leaving seats next to wall outlets open just in case someone needs to charge their laptop, e-reader or any other device that they need for class. And if you do need to charge your laptop, make sure your bulky charger isn’t covering up the second outlet so other people can use it if they need to. 

5. Show up sick

Before, this point would be extremely controversial. Being a college student is hard and missing one day of class can really impact your grade, so who wants to miss it just because of the sniffles? But now that we are approaching two years in a pandemic, it is easy to see how coming to class with the flu is not a good idea. Not only does it spread illnesses 一 such as “the cough” this semester 一 but it can keep you from resting and getting better. If you feel that you are sick, try taking a day off for yourself and your fellow students. 

4. Wear your mask under your nose

I know 一 back to the masks. But it seems like the University’s mask policy is here to stay at least until November, so we should try to follow it properly. Since 2020, there have been memes about how counterproductive it is to only wear a mask over your mouth. Covering your nose is an important part of making sure your mask is doing its job, which will be really important going into cold and flu season. Avoid being the butt of the joke by simply wearing a mask over your mouth and nose. 

3. Forget to put your phone on silent or do not disturb

We’ve all forgotten to put our phone on silent once and had a text notification interrupt a class. However, when you are taking a quiz, exam or are just listening to a lecture, the constant buzzing sound can be really distracting. I’m speaking from experience 一 it is really embarrassing to have your GroupMe notifications going off during a quiz when you can’t take out your phone to silence it. Keeping your phone on silent or even making it so that your phone doesn’t vibrate at all before class — and especially before exams — is the best way to avoid this embarrassment and distraction. 

2. Play flashy games when sitting in front of people

I will admit, I am guilty of checking and responding to emails sometimes during a class if I get a bit bored or suddenly remember to do something important. Doing little things like these are not usually much of a distraction to others in a class. However, it is not hard to be distracted by the bright gameplay of a Cool Math game or even a Slither.io and its other .io counterparts. It is hard to not focus on the colorful games that I will suddenly get the urge to play myself. If you still wish to break your high school score in Papa’s Pizzeria during a lecture, at least sit closer to the back so that you do not distract those behind and around you. 

1. Judge people’s transition back to normal

This is the first time in three semesters that we have had an in-person semester. With COVID-19 still a threat to many and some having trouble getting back to normal, it is important to be patient and not judge each other. See someone wear pajamas to class? It’s a habit that’s hard to kick after a year and a half of Zoom. Does your friend still want to wear a mask outdoors or even double mask? They are just doing what will make them feel more comfortable and safe. We all dealt with COVID-19 differently, so it makes sense that we will all transition back to normal differently. Being understanding and patient will only help us come out of the pandemic as a stronger and kinder community. 

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