The 5 Stages of a Lecture

Oh, you’re a filthy little human, and you know it. Bleary-eyed and only beginning to sober up from the night before, you sit at the back of the lecture hall questioning your existence. You’re feeling flushed and sweaty after the run from the far side of campus. Thousands of thoughts are clumsily tumbling around your brain, but suddenly there’s only one you can think about.

“There’s a smell of arse isn’t there?”

You quickly glance across your row for the source of the odour, but there’s something a little too familiar about the smell.

“Jesus, is that my arse?”

Yes. It’s your arse.

You can tell a lot about someone by how they react to an hour long lecture. Especially when they have swilled themselves into a coma the night previous. Using my experience (twelve and a half lectures in the past two years) I have broken the average lecture down into five critical stages:


  1. The “Motivated” stage.

You decide, Jaysus you’re here now, you may as well give this thing a lash. You’re scribbling out notes a billion miles an hour, hanging on every word your Lecturer is saying. Where has this burst of energy come from? You didn’t realise you could enjoy hearing about 18th century farming techniques so much. You have never been so motivated in your life. Two cans of Red Bull and a line of cocaine would only bring you down at this stage.

You look around you, judging the peasants whose presence you’re gracing. Some of these chumps are still fumbling around looking for their pens. You begin to wonder how you ever struggled at college. You have it sussed: going to lectures = doing well in college.

Two pages of notes already, flying!


  1. The “Are they the Lecturer’s nipples” stage.

My God, they are! You can’t help but notice the perfectly symmetrical, diamond shaped nipples perched on either side of his chest. Does he know they’re showing? Is this some sick, deviant game he’s playing? These are the thoughts you can’t help but entertain.

Your notes may have slowed down a bit, but you’re still taking in information. Okay, maybe you’re not paying full attention (because you’ve just noticed his left nipple is definitely bigger than his right), but you’re not as bad as the guy in the fourth row who is blatantly Face Timing his girlfriend.

Only 15 minutes gone? Jesus.


  1. The “Sexually Frustrated” stage.

This is a critical stage of every lecture. Many good men and women have fallen down at this hurdle. Your attention is really being tested, only catching the keywords from the lecturers weathered mouth. Instead, you can’t help but be attracted to every single person in the entire lecture hall.

You know it’s not real attraction, it’s merely a mechanism to deal with your insane boredom. But that doesn’t stop you staring lustfully at the Asian exchange student, wondering what lies underneath that sweater-vest.

Things goes from bad to worse as the girl next to you sneezes. You’re convinced that this is a sexual advance. You shake your head and try to snap out of it.

“It was just a sneeze. It was just a sneeze.”

Your eyes narrow.

“Or was it?”


  1. The “Facebook” stage.

Your attention for this lecture is a distant memory. You desperately need a distraction from all these distractions. You decide to whip out your phone and give yourself a five minute break. You promise yourself that you’ll at least read something half-educational. You click into the Journal app, and begin to scan for stories. Half-way through a story about climate change and you know there’s only one way this is going. Before you know it, you’re on Yik Yak posting endless Madeline McCann jokes, trying to suppress your own laughter.

Twenty minutes have passed and you realise the madness has to stop. You find yourself creeping on pictures of your friend’s girlfriend’s cousin’s uncle’s trip to Malta in 2012. You click onto your front facing camera and stare at your reflection. Is this what your mother forked out three grand for?


  1. The “Costa Coffee” stage.

I think this one explains itself. You spotted a gap and you bolted for the door, leaving your bag, notes, pens and your soul behind you.

Sure the lecturer never says anything important in the last ten minutes, does he?


Not all lectures will go to plan. You will often end up in Costa Coffee or at home watching Narcos, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. The most important thing is to try your best. Or just don’t go to them.

Either way, sure isn’t this college thing a whole heap of craic?