You like to read, can write a decent paper when fueled with enough caffeine and talking about books isn’t something you have to be coerced into doing. So, you declare your English major and sit down to your first college-level English class. You survey the room and probably see a few faces that look somewhat like this.
5. The Sleeper
Usually located in the back of the room, there’s no such thing as an English class that doesn’t have at least one spacey listener (or not-listener) in their midst. Trademarks of the Sleeper include audible snoring, drool-stained notes and a general lack of understanding of what is going on, sometimes manifesting in a glaring repetition of the points made by everyone else already. Here’s hoping the poor Sleeper in your English class was awake to hear that there’s an exam next week.
4. The Proud Reader
Probably carrying around a large, dog-eared copy of something slightly pretentious like War and Peace, the Proud Reader is painfully smart. And they want you to know it. Comments in class may be lost on everyone else but the professor because there are far too many literary allusions to works no one has ever heard of. Not that there’s anything wrong with reading of course (as you know best of all, dear reader). But your whole class doesn’t want to hear you backdoor brag about all the reading you do as they try to make sense of Jane Eyre.
3. The Future Bestseller
Armed with a notebook and chicken scratch handwriting (that might be a generalization, they could have lovely script), the Future Bestseller is in this class just to get inspiration—and see what’s already been done—for the novel they’ve been slaving over for the past two years. Comments are likely to revolve around the style elements of any reading done in class, and they always know authors you’ve never heard of. Plus when your professor throws out the old “anyone know what this literary device is called?” question, you know who’s gonna know the answer.
2. The One-Upper
Sure, you’ve got a good thought on the reading to share with the class. But the One-Upper has something identical to say—that’s even better. Often choosing to ignore the point that has gone around the room several times already, the One-Upper is determined to get their idea out regardless of the turn the conversation has gone. While occasionally helpful for the Sleeper or anyone who finds themselves zoning out, if you’ve been following along you may find yourself getting annoyed with the One-Upper.
1. The Piggybacker
Everyone recognizes a Piggybacker when they see (or hear) one. Trademark phrases of the Piggybacker include (but are not limited to) “tacking on to that,” “sort of like what _____ said,” “in a similar vein,” and “sort of piggybacking onto that.” Sound familiar yet? Pretty much anyone who takes an English class in college has to be a Piggybacker at some point. My suggestion? At least switch up your phrases, and maybe you’ll escape the label.