Awkward Situations Students Can Relate To and How to Deal With It

In the journey of life, we’ll experience a myriad of situations including some you don’t wish to remember. Most of us have probably faced many embarrassing and awkward situations throughout some point of our lives. Well, it’s natural and happens to everyone.  Even so,  it still hurts when you’re trying to be fine, but in reality, you’re just dying inside. So, here are some of the awkward situations that I'm sure most of you can relate to and some solutions on how to deal with them.

1)    When you’re talking to someone you’ve met before, but you can’t remember their name


I’m positive most of you have experienced this at least once in your life. After all, it's human nature that the brain forgets names you don’t call frequently or new names of people you’ve just met. I happen to be quite a forgetful person and forget the names of people I’ve met which makes me feel awful most of the time — especially if they remember mine.


To solve this, I tend to address most of my friends as “bro”, “sis”, “dude”, etc. Even to those whose names I remember! It’s a great way to address others while getting on their good side. When this method seems inappropriate to use , I’ll wait for one of my friends to walk by and introduce them to the person I’m talking to. That person is likely to introduce themselves back and ultimately  save you the awkwardness of asking, “What was your name again?”


2)    When you accidentally walk into the wrong class full of students


This happens to new students almost all the time. It’s their first day, they’re super nervous, the adrenaline is flowing and suddenly, they didn’t even notice they’ve walked into the wrong venue. They’re so busy thinking about other matters that the thought of where they’re supposed to go doesn’t even cross their mind. Even final year students have accidentally walked into my ongoing classes before. So, don’t worry about it since it happens to the best of us.


In this situation, you can turn this misfortune into an opportunity by saying something like “Sorry guys, I guess I’m in the wrong class!” or “I didn’t mean to interrupt.” You’ll tend to leave a lasting impression on the students in that class and have quite the hilarious tale to tell if you encounter them again. Doing something like complimenting the lecturer such as “Looking great today, Ms/Mr!” works too.

PLUS, you’ll make the lecturers feel good about themselves. It’s still important to be mindful of whether the lecturer finds it inappropriate or not (you gotta be selective about this *winks*). Sometimes the safer option would be to apologise for your mistake, exit the class quietly, and never look back.


3)    When you’re about to pay and realise that you don’t enough money to pay at the counter


Ever been to a payment counter only to realise you don’t have enough money in your wallet? While many places accept the use of e-Wallet as a payment method, sometimes it isn’t always the case which could result in quite an embarrassing moment!


Well, for starters, you’d want to be sure to check if you’ve got enough money in hand before you set off for college which would be a simple solution to avoid this awkward situation. BUT, should you ever forget your money, making friends is also a possible solution. You can politely ask to borrow money from the person behind you in the queue and hope for the best that he or she kindly does so. That way, this can also be a conversation starter. The both of you can get to know one another better from this silly experience, and even have something to laugh at the way this friendship started.


4)    When you didn’t realise your Microphone or Video was ON during a  Zoom call


In my opinion, this is one of the most awkward and humiliating things that can happen to a student. As a result of the current pandemic, we tend to be more relaxed at the comfort of our homes while attending a tutorial or lecture. And sometimes we let our guards down and behave like our true selves, free from any public image to uphold, and sometimes appearing silly.

Alas, anything inappropriate that we are used to saying or doing at home have been amplified to an audience of more than 400 students as we unintentionally enabled our microphones or webcams. I definitely have experienced this recently and trust me, it still haunts me to this day.


I recommend always double-checking to make sure your microphone is muted and your webcam is off for your safety. But, should this unfortunate incident ever happen to you, just swiftly apologise for your mistake and do your best to forget about it. Chances are if you successfully forget about it, it most likely will never even cross the minds of others at all. 

PS: Always dress and look appropriate in front of your screen regardless of whether you’re switching on your camera. This way you’ll never have to be embarrassed if this ever happens.



5)    When your lecturer calls you but you have no idea what’s happening


There are a myriad of reasons why we may miss out on what our lecturer is saying in class. A long night of doing homework, a tiring day of chores, or even not being able to sleep — all these are factors that can exhaust us and hence make us lose our concentration in class. So it can be pretty awkward when, against all odds, your name is called out over the other 300 students in the class.


The best way to avoid this tragedy is, of course, to ensure we get an ample amount of rest before the class. Having an energy drink or coffee before your classes is also great to give you that little push to start your day and wake you up for all the classes. But, should your name be called out during an online class, the simplest way to fix this is by saying that your internet was unstable or that your lecturer’s voice was breaking up so you couldn’t hear. They’ll tend to accept it and move on.

But bear in mind, this could also bite you in the back as they may only repeat the question and expect you to answer even though you probably ‘missed’ the whole section prior to the questions. So sometimes being straightforward and apologising for your mistake may just be the way to go. Your lecturers will definitely understand given that they’ll be familiar with the stress university students face and consider that a valid reason.


All in all, awkward situations are very common and you’ll definitely experience it sooner or later. They’re inevitable and we just have to ensure that they don’t affect us too much in a negative way. After all, life’s not about how hard you get hit, but the strength you have to keep moving forward. 

As a matter of fact, I see these awkward moments as a challenge and see how well I can overcome them! Of course, this is with the help of the tricks I have up my sleeves as listed above. I hope this article along with the written solutions has been interesting and will be useful for any awkward situations you find yourself in!


Currently pursuing Taylor’s Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance, Kwan Jet is a friendly and adventurous guy who's always up to explore new experiences

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