Study Stereotypes

The Pen Clicker
(Distant cousin of the Foot-Tapper)

Pen clickers are generally considered a simple race. So simple in fact that they’re forced to abandon the basic cognitive processes involved in regulating body movement whilst studying or taking an exam. During such periods of heightened brain activity, any thought previously given to the purpose of a pen’s click function or to keeping the thumb motionless is cast aside in favour of scholarly deliberation. Thus on/off pen clicking is performed relentlessly, often resulting in a breakdown on the part of those within hearing distance. Some experts believe that said constant clicking is not merely a mindless physical tick, but in fact an ancient ritual repeated to attain blessing from the Gods of getting a 2:1. Conspiracy theorists claim that clickers work in Morse code, in order to exchange illicit exam information with their clicky brethren. As such, it’s arguably permissible to dob them in to moderators for cheating. Others argue that it’s acceptable to accuse them of allsorts to the relevant authorities at Hallward or elsewhere simply on grounds of “annoying prick click.”

The Lost Soul

A species characterised by a certain aimless and melancholy demeanour. Drifting around the lower floors of the library in search of a computer, wandering up and down aisles of exam desks looking in vain for the one which bears their name, rummaging desperately for their student card outside Hallward; all are activities involved in the day-to-day meanderings of the Lost Soul. Lecture etiquette of the species involves either sprinting in fifteen minutes late because they’ve forgotten where Portland is, or leaving two minutes in because they’ve turned up for the wrong lecture. A Lost Soul will always be grateful for a helping hand, but do so cautiously, because assisting with their difficult midday decision between Spicy Tuna Wrap and Prawn with Sweet Chilli sandwich could lead to infinite other questions: “Where’s Pope Building?” “What happens on Jubilee Campus?” “Coates is like a labyrinth: PLEASE HELP ME FIND C13.” Basically if you don’t have a campus map handy it’s probably not worth the effort. Also bear in mind that conversation with a Lost Soul is on the whole frustrating and pointless: “Have you done the questions?” “What questions?” “For the seminar.” “WHAT SEMINAR??”

The Speed Worker
(Close relative of the Stationary King/Queen)

During a particularly difficult exam, the last thing any nervous student needs to see is the adjacent candidate reaching the bottom of an A4 page of answer before you’ve even finished reading Question 1. Meet the Speed Worker: always completes coursework a month before the deadline, exists on an exclusive diet of organic smoothies and hummus, and is any average student’s worst exam-neighbour nightmare. You finish your essay plan; they’ve constructed 2 paragraphs of coherent argument. You own part a); they’ve already annihilated part d). THEY’VE LEFT THE EXAM HALL BEFORE YOU’VE INTRODUCED A SECOND LINE OF DISCUSSION. Just how a Speed Worker is able to maintain both pace and quality in their efforts remains a mystery. Leading studies have constructed three plausible theories: 1) Their ‘writings’ are either nothing but linear scribbles or simply the words ‘I HATE EXAMS’ over and over again, 2) They work under the unstoppable influence of several packets of Pro Plus/a leading academic muttering answers through a concealed earpiece/the voices in their heads, or 3) They’re about 240% cleverer/revised 240% harder than you did. Deal with it.

The Oblivious Entity

Otherwise referred to as a “Brick Wall” on account of their absolute imperviousness and lack of emotional consideration for anyone in their immediate vicinity, the Oblivious Entity will engage in all manner of irritating pursuits, and will never apologise or acknowledge the selfish nature of their actions. Consider its classic daytime behaviour: these are the people speaking on the phone in whispers louder than normal speech whilst on the third floor in Hallward. These are the unknowns who dump a heap of belongings at a library computer in order to mark it as theirs and proceed to go nowhere near it for at least twenty minutes. And when they do, it’s purely for Facebook chat. These are the people who always have a cold during exam time and so inflict their incessant sniffing upon the masses. Upon your next encounter with one you are obliged to sit as close as you can next to them, eating something that smells bad and humming tunelessly. Maybe even whilst rhythmically kicking their chair or playing a small instrument.

Gabby DeMatteis


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