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It’s 15 minutes before class starts. You have your homemade bag on you, your Tom’s shoes are properly clean, organic jeans rolled up at the bottom, your old school Blackberry is on silent. As you make your way down the hall, you pass students that are rushing for a quick snack, students heading for the bathroom – they just have to check their hair, how insecure.Some students are vigorously scratching in their homework last-minute with notebooks scattered on the floor, their bodies hunched over sitting Indian-style on the ground. Unlike them, you know the importance of getting ahead, getting to class early, you’ve got style. You ignore the distractions and you open the door. The class is empty, the lights are off and the sun is shining through the windows, reflecting off the bare desks. It’s almost eerie, just the way you like it. This is what it’s about, you now have free reign over every seat in the house, it’s up to you where you sit and if you’re smart, you’ll know that where you sit is everything.




Let’s get into the basic anatomy of a classroom as well as the pros and cons of each seating approach.




The Front Row




At the front of the class is the professor, they bring the pressure, making the front row a little scary for those who are more timid. I had a professor that enjoyed spraying students with Formula 409 cleaner, another that had a reflex, sometimes resulting in uncontrollable spitting. He was an old professor, with a wild white beard that ran down towards the center of his chest, wore striped polo shirts, blue jean shorts and long red socks. If anything he looked like a very old version of Waldo. Upon entering his class he’d warn the folks sitting in the front row, with his two crazy eyes that darted off in opposite directions, that they were officially in, the “splash zone.” Your professors might not be so eccentric but that’s what you can expect in the front, if you take it up to 11.




The Back Row




It’s the complete opposite in the back, where the distance between you and the instructor is at its maximum potential which can benefit or hurt you in many ways. Being in the back means you can get away with doodling, texting, browsing Reddit on your laptop. But it’s a double-edged sword. All of those distractions means you’re not paying attention and it can easily lead to you falling behind in class. Sit in the back only if you can control your Facebook urges and if you’re already a strong student. Also, it’s pretty fun eating in the back row so nobody can stare at you. I feel awkward when people I don’t know look at me while I’m eating. Aren’t some cats like that?




Side Seats and Everything in Between




The middle is the battleground. Everybody wants to be towards the middle-back because it provides just enough distance from the professor without being too far that you lose focus. Now there are a lot of seats but it’s really about choosing the right angle in which you’re facing the board, and making sure you want a side seat or not.Side seats are the seats that are closest to the side walls, sometimes they’re lined up directly next to the wall and you’ll have to turn the desk to face the professor at the front. Side walls can be annoying because the angle is just awkward and it can be difficult to view slideshows or movies, but that depends on how close to the front you are. The worst seat in any classroom is the very front row, on the far left or far right side. It looks weird, you look weird, everybody can see you and it’s weird. It just sucks.




For the most part, middle seats are first come first serve. It’s like good seats in a movie theater, be there just a little early so you can have that space. And never, ever, steal another person’s seat midway through the semester. Not cool, man, not cool.




Social Seating




Perhaps distancing yourself from the professor isn’t your top priority, maybe you just want to sit next to that really quiet, pretty girl with green eyes that draws cupcake monsters in her notebook all lecture. It’s cool, I don’t judge. Where you sit in class and who you sit next to, can lead to some pretty interesting outcomes. You can make new friends, maybe even score a date. If anything, this approach to sitting in class might just be the best overall. Think about it, if you make new friends then you’ve instantly acquired a study group for that class, and that always helps.




If by any chance, your preferred seat is taken, try and get close as possible to your buddies or that hottie again. The best way to keep a seat through the semester is to consistently sit there. That sends a message to everybody. You’re basically saying, “Hey! This is my seat!” It’s pretty simple really. As stated above, once you’ve been in a seat long enough, it’s officially unofficially yours for the semester. Everybody else just has to…




You never thought sitting in class could be so complicated could you? It can, it is.