15 Irritating Pet Peeves Only College Students Can Understand

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Don’t get me wrong, college consists of a magical four years (more or less) full of learning, meeting new people and creating the stories that you’ll look back on for years to come. This doesn’t mean that every day will bring the educational equivalent of cotton candy and unicorns – you will develop some pet peeves in these four years, as well. Navigating a new chapter in your life alongside hundreds of other people that also have no clue what to do with themselves can cause some… interesting days. Whether you came here to learn from the mistakes of those before you or to mentally rant along with me, I welcome you to the semester in the life of an annoyed college student.

Here are 15 pet peeves only college students can understand.

1. Ice Breakers

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Whether you skip onto campus as a fluffy freshman or stumble off the bus at noon as a senior, ice breakers follow you throughout the entirety of your college career. This span of (somehow always the same) ice breaking games can be prominent mainly within the first week of the semester but can reappear at any time throughout the semester to freshen things up. Now you may be saying, “But isn’t college about meeting new people interested in the same field as you?” Yes, but I can make friends without the professor forcing me to learn a strange fact about the other person, especially at 8 a.m. The first week of classes will only require me breaking into an extra large coffee cup.

2. The Professor Who Won’t Answer Your Question Because “You Won’t Need to Know that for My Class”

College should be the time in your life where you smush as much knowledge into your head as possible. So I applaud those of us who let our curiosities fly during a class, prompting the professor with a practical question about the topic of interest that one may need to know if they plan to further pursue said topic. Those who ask questions when they feel confused or curious will, in turn, be the ones who understand the topic most in the long run. Easy enough… Until you ask a question to Professor A who doesn’t think that you’ll need to know the answer because they won’t be covering it in class. Yes, this happens and when it does, the annoying situation allows you to grow more independent as you take the research into your own hands and find the answer yourself (but also, for the dollar amount we pay, we should get the answer from the educated expert).

3. The Messy Dorm Roommate

While messy roommates don’t solely plague the college experience, a messy roommate can manifest into a monster when you live in a single room together. Often times, your designated side of the room slowly becomes your designated corner of the room as their laziness continues to feed their pile of miscellaneous clutter. Fortunately, a few ways to deal with this certain peeve do exist. The first solution would be to confront the problem head on by speaking with your roommate about their hygiene and possible hoarding problem—just a nice, informative conversation communicating your anxieties about the current living situation. Solution number two involves a make-shift hazmat suit, a couple garbage bags and possibly some duct tape as you free your side of the clutter, throwing it onto their side or out the window while you tape a divider down the middle of the dorm. I’ll let you decide which solution best fits your personal situation.

4. Shared Dorm Bathrooms

If you took part in solution two of the previous pet peeve, then don’t put that hazmat suit away too soon. Unfortunately, even though your neighbors carry the title of adults in the legal sense, the state of the bathrooms on your dormitory floor seems to suggest otherwise. “I hated walking down the hall. Mine were pods so I didn’t mind it much but I hated walking half naked from my room to the bathroom,” said University of Iowa Senior Nicholas Meyer. We all know that sharing a bathroom with more than twenty people on a regular basis can already lead to some not so healthy conditions (i.e. the shower shoes suggestion that should be a requirement) but when you walk into a bathroom full of unidentifiable hair everywhere, you begin to rethink your life choices. Do I really need to take that desperately needed shower? Does the girl down the hall still have hair left on her head after her shower? Is college a necessary requirement to not live in a box by the time I’m 25? Needless to say, for those leaving copious amounts of bodily DNA in various forms throughout the shared bathrooms, your floor-mates don’t carry the same responsibilities as your maids so expect an interesting note left on the doors whiteboard.

5. People that Stroll into Lecture 20 Minutes Late

Let’s be real, we’ve all slept through an alarm or had an internal battle between attending class or taking a five-hour nap. No shame. Just don’t expect smiling faces to shine back at you if your education wins the battle over sleep at the last minute and you burst into class mid-lecture. Typing will cease, pens will halt their violent scratching and in the back of the lecture hall, Netflix will be paused to watch you noisily climb over everyone and fall into a chair. Just remember that everyone else in that room would’ve rather been sleeping as well but made it to lecture on time, so don’t expect any smiles rolling your way. Just find the most accessible seat in the darkest area of the room and proceed to practice your invisibility powers until the lecture ends.

6. Fellow Students Being Disrespectful to University Staff

As someone who has a position at the library on-campus, nothing annoys university staff more than disrespectful students who believe they should be given special attention because they pay money to use the facility. Okay, yes you do pay money as a student of the university but so does every other person that uses this facility. When a staff member says they ran out of an item in the dining hall or they need you to pack up and leave because the library closes in five minutes, please give them an understanding nod and leave. We have restrictions in place like any other business and most likely the people communicating these rules to you might host the party you attend next Saturday night, so don’t throw them attitude.

7. Instructors Who Don’t Enter Grades Until the Week Before Finals

Hello, I’m your friendly neighborhood college student here to tell you that no matter how put together you think we appear, our stress will not cease until the letter grade has been entered. “One professor was notoriously late in turning in grades. We’ve already graduated and my classmates joke that there are still grades missing,” said Florida International University recent graduate Gaby Ortega. Listen, your version of “pretty good” may be completely different from my version of “pretty good” or “just fine.” “That just says they don’t care period. It seems that they don’t want to put in the effort to help the students who work hard and payed money to get to school in the first place,” said Des Moines Area Community College junior Alexandra Martinez. You don’t know the exact percentage I need to receive from this class in order to successfully pass my major. So, allow me to determine if “pretty good” will let me sleep for the next week or not. Let me live my life with a lack of motivation and minimal effort as stress free as possible. Sincerely, the student who went to the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War instead of your review session.

8. People Who See Designated Quiet Hours as a Suggestion

When you study late at night in the floor lounge or even in your dorm, there have been nights when either the drunk or incredibly stupid have torn through the peaceful silence. Depending on the amount of test anxiety you possess in the moment, you will either continue with your work or your scary mom voice will erupt from your door and terrify the drunkards into their caves. Just remember that sometimes one must break the rules in order to seek justice for the people. Not all heroes wear capes, folks.

9. Classes Where Your Grades Depend Solely on Exams

Thanks to a childhood full of Hannah Montana lyrics, we’ve all learned “Nobody’s perfect.” This means that not every test will have a score worthy of taping to the apartment fridge with pride. Often times, your scores may be the ones you would’ve immediately thrown in the garbage before showing your parents. As a college student, you’ll also want to throw yourself in the garbage because all trash belongs there. Having a class where the final grade solely depends on the accumulation of the trash exams will not help this feeling. To the professors reading this article, know that as students, grades forged from our insistent procrastination and fiery test anxiety don’t define us.

10. Participation Points

On the other hand, don’t make our grade solely dependent on our social skills or lack thereof. I know the information, I can even give you specific examples from the required reading material you handed out last week, just don’t expect me to display this knowledge at 8 a.m. on a Monday with no coffee in my system. Some of us might not feel comfortable speaking out in a classroom full of intimidating peers. “Participation points rewards students in the class who have more outgoing personalities or bully their way into speaking while the quieter students are punished for something completely unrelated to course material,” said University of Iowa senior Meggy Preigh. This insight also applies to in-class group activities that are meant to build character or help us make friends, or quite honestly just make me want to vomit. Don’t get me wrong, I can be social when I want to, but that often occurs when my brain springs fully awake and aware of my surroundings. This group activity possesses neither of those things. The lesson learned from both the participation and exam pet peeves communicates the beauty of balance when assessing our retention of knowledge.

11. The Instructors/Schools that Won’t Cancel a Class Even for the Weather Equivalent of the Apocalypse

Their priority surrounds the safety of the students who walk these hallowed halls—except when one must cross campus during severe weather to attend the scheduled class. This may not be as common for students attending a college in California or the definition of weather paradise, but for those attending school in the Midwest, we experience three different kinds of extreme weather a week. Sometimes even within one day. Naturally, in these situations it would be understandable that our teachers would be more hesitant to cancel class with a bit of snow falling outside. I’d just like to point out, a clear difference occurs between a light dusting of snow and a white wall of flying shards of ice depriving the brave student of all senses. “Just cancel the class and email us what to get done before the next class. I also live off campus so it’s not only a waste of time, but a waste of gas,” said University of Iowa junior Grace Oeth. Needless to say, only two things spark in my mind when I see a blizzard occurring outside my window. One, will my tiny car survive in the parking lot after this avalanche from the skies decides to stop? Two, which show on Netflix will I binge today with a cup of hot chocolate in hand? Don’t expect to see my face in class on this particular day.

12. People on Social Media During Class

Depending on the setting of the class and how enthralling the instructor happens to be that day, you may see no one or everyone on social media during class. Unfortunately, if you decide to refrain from answering Snapchat for the next hour, your mind becomes heightened to every screen surrounding your notebook and pen. Even worse, your eyes can’t tear themselves away from the person extending their Netflix binge to the lecture hall one row in front of you. Look, we understand that you want to catch up on Stranger Things before the next season comes out, but don’t do it in front of those trying to get the most out of their insane amount of student debt.

13. Test Questions that Make You Questions if You’ve Been Going to the Wrong Class for the Last Month

These questions often come in the form of multiple choice with options A through L or essay questions that require an answer equivalent to a novel. No matter the form you’ll recognize them the moment you finish reading. They tend to result in a small heart attack or a repulsed and confused face vaguely similar to that of a meme. It never fails to appear at least once throughout an exam and will often contain an answer to the question the professor said you didn’t need to know (see peeve #2) or an example that was discussed for less than five minutes during one lecture and never mentioned again. After receiving a big red check over this question a week later, you may scream to the skies and/or your professor, questioning why such a question had the nerve to exist on this exam. Honestly, if your professor didn’t intend for a class wide failure, then they sit on a throne of lies.

14. No Open Tables in Library/Study Areas

There comes a time in the semester when everyone and their roommate realizes that the time for slacking off no longer exists. As a result of this campus wide epiphany, the surplus of tables and study nooks vanish as the students swarm. Of course, this wouldn’t make the peeve list if said swarm didn’t take place during the week you have three papers, a portfolio and an exam creeping up on you. If a simple solution to this dilemma exists I certainly have yet to come across it. My only suggestion to survive this tabletop purge: Become one with the patch of floor located near the closest outlet.

15. The Required Class Only Offered at 7:30 A.M.

If this peeve has not appeared in your schedule thus far, then I applaud you. You can’t substitute or push aside this class because without this vital course you can’t complete your major. What better class to offer at the crack of dawn? No matter if you arrive with the largest coffee known to man or you move your sleeping location from your bed to a desk, this class will carry on with or without your presence. Thus the reason for assigning such a vital class to this time slot; if an optional class asks students to rise before the sun the class would be canceled due to a lack of registry. From the perspective of those making the course assignments it makes perfect sense, but that doesn’t mean I won’t complain every morning as I walk to class with a blanket wrapped around my head.

Travel amateur and avid moviegoer with a passion for all things Marvel. Currently, a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying English and Creative Writing being fueled by multiple cups of coffee a day.

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