Student Etiquette: Ten Unwritten Rules for Student Life at the JGU

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Being a freshman is a hassle. New environment, meeting new people, getting acquainted with your studies. There’s so much that needs getting used to. 10 tips to help you getting settled in.


The daily ins and outs of student life are mostly a puzzling experience for Freshmen. There’s so much that needs getting used to, while becoming acquainted with your studies. Settling in takes time and patience. Whether you’re facing it alone or with a buddy, knowing th­­e tidbits about campus would help a lot. The unwritten Dos and Don’ts are also reacted to with awe and surprise from the senior student body, who lacks knowledge themselves. How does one navigate themselves on campus? What informative tips should you best know beforehand?

The following article serves to alleviate the stresses of starting out on campus, while offering hints when employed, and could make easing into student life at the JGU Mainz stress free.


1. Online Lectures

Your microphone should be set to mute during online lectures. Background noises like the television, outside street traffic, screaming kids and eating etc. should be avoided. Furthermore, your microphone should only be turned on when the need for it is presented.

You could opt for turning on your Webcam during the lecture, but please pay attention to your background surroundings while online. Be sure that a freshly showered roommate doesn’t run by streaking themselves to your unsuspecting classmates and professor.

Something else that you should avoid: Uncomfortable scenarios such as chatting with a fellow classmate or friend during the lecture. Accidentally posting  or tweeting  a private response to the lecture chat or noticing too late that your microphone is on while moaning or complaining about how boring the lecture is.


2. Freshman Woes

It’s the first week on campus and everyone is nervous, shy and worried about not knowing anyone or anything. Everything is new and scary. Fret not. You’re not alone. Don’t shy away from making contact with your fellow students. They’re sure to be grateful for the gesture!

Campus tip

Try taking advantage of the freshmen events. They’re a good possibility to meet, connect and socialise with other freshmen who perhaps study in the same field as you do. This makes the events and also your student life experience fun.

For more information on freshman tips, visit here.


3. Making contact with your Lecturer/Professor

Your Lecturers/Professors are receptive and ready to help with any questions you may have about your courses. Don’t hesitate to give feedback or ask questions, should the need arise. There’s no need to book an entire hour appointment to have a chat with them. Those are already in short supply. A quick chat after your lecture ends or a short Email will suffice for a brief Q&A.

Do pay attention when writing correspondences to use your assigned student mailing account. Proper care should be paid when addressing your Lecturer/Professor (e.g. Dr., Professor:in, etc.). Informal language use should also be avoided - including the use of emojis. Some of your Lecturers/Professors may adhere to the formalities when corresponding with their students, so it’s good to be on the safe side.


4. Solidarity between Comrades

Don’t leave your fellow student hanging. Should you have a teammate or group work on lecture projects, take the initiative in making contact with your partners.

Be on point regarding any changes to your health, should you happen to be ill and with information relating to the work you are to complete with them.

Don’t ghost your teammates when the time has come for presenting your unified course work or project.

Try making contact with each other as soon as possible to plan and divide the work needed to be done.

Campus tip

The hierarchies of the common high school environment is non-existent at university. Most students are outside the structures of age, looks, semester quorums, etc. and are open and friendly. Use the possibility when available to approach them. Perhaps you may get to know some really cool people.


5. Getting involved on campus

Aside from your studies, it’s also good to consider participating in campus life.

There are loads of Workshops, Sport, Language and Culture courses available, which are cheap and possibly free of charge. Also a number of organisations are offered that one can participate in while getting to know new people. What are your passions? What hobbies are you into? Whether you’re interested in Journalism, Marketing, Event Management, Technology or Social Media, there are a variety of possibilities available at the Campus Mainz e.V. that you could try out.

It’s always good to have the lowdown on campus. Perhaps the campus’ history might interest you. Take advantage in learning about the colourful history that was the JGU!


6. Respectful behaviour during Lectures

Remember you may also have freshman Lecturers who are teaching your course programs. They may also be nervous and somewhat shy when lecturing to an entire lecture hall. Yawning, constantly looking at your mobile devices and chattering, makes it more of a tough task for your starting out Lecturer.

Try behaving in a manner that you would expect a group of listeners to behave, should you be in the position of lecturing them or giving a presentation.

Should you happen to turn up late at lectures, please avoid the unnecessary noises and disturbances when you arrive at your class. It is a great sign of respect that upon your late arrival, you take your seat at the back (if possible) of the lecture hall quietly as not to disturb and disrupt the concentration of your fellow students and Lecturer/Professor during the ongoing session.


7. Library conduct

During the semester, most library spots are taken, and you may not know where to find your own quiet spot to do work. Should you be in great need of a quiet place to study, check out unknown Department Libraries. Here, information on libraries that offer specific literature to your studies can be found.

Though it is not a problem to have some chill time at your quiet spot, do take into account other fellow students who are trying to study.  At a 38 degree weather during the summer, you may feel like indulging yourself in a movie, favourite show, or even a football match. These are activities best enjoyed elsewhere as not to cause distress to fellow library attendees, and the work they’re doing. Try switching the scenario to you needing a spot to work and it’s occupied by a restless TV Show streamer. You wouldn’t find it so cool either.


8. “Hey, I’m trying to concentrate!”

It’s an unpleasant experience for anyone to experience disturbances while trying to concentrate on the work or lecture at hand. The current lecture subject is really interesting, and you’re into the entire topic that is being presented, but you can’t concentrate because your neighbours are chatting up a storm. Wouldn’t you be peeved?

Usually there isn’t a mandatory attendance to the lectures or courses you’re taking. Should this be the case, you could use the time to chat with your fellow classmates outside your respective lecture. Your lecture mates and Lecturer/Professor would be grateful for the gesture taken not to disturb the seminar at hand.


9. The Canteen

At the end of the second morning lecture, almost everyone has the same idea in mind. “It’s LUNCHTIME!!!” 

Here is an overview of the canteens and kiosks available on campus grounds. When using the Mensa, please pay mind to other students and faculty members who’re also lunching. It is regulatory to sit a seat apart from your lunch buddy.

After enjoying your meal, switch to another spot on campus to hang. Doing this, frees up places for fellow lunchies to sit and also enjoy their respective meals.


10. Going unnoticed during lectures

As mentioned earlier, the subject of being respectful to your fellow students and lecturers was touched upon.

Viewing #NSFC (Not Safe For Campus) material on your mobile device while neighbouring students in the back row are disturbed by what they might view. Watching shows and movies, which may cause restlessness to other students, loud eating, e.g. Carrots, pungent food, e.g. Tuna Salad Sandwich, are all possible disturbance factors that should be avoided or done discreetly during your campus visit.

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