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Being back on campus for a new semester is trying by nature. After a year and half online we’re all adjusting and for some of us it’s our first time on a college campus. I don’t know if it’s the new people or the new academic environment, being my first semester in college, but I’ve found I’ve been interrupted more in a half semester of college than the past few years of high school.

I’m not alone in this phenomenon. After my 10 AM lecture last Monday, my girl friends in our class sat down for lunch afterwards and just went OFF. Being talked over never feels good, and it’s even worse when a boy repeats what you were just saying. So here’s my tips on how to keep your cool and regain control of a conversation when you don’t get the respect you deserve.

  1. For When You Get Cut Off

Ladies, a conversation cut off is not like driving, you have the ability to cut them off right back. Try politely first to keep an easier flow of conversations, say “I wasn’t done with my point” or “let me finish first”. If they don’t take the hint, don’t be afraid to be loud. No one is more entitled to take up classroom space than anyone else. Interrupting classmates disrupt learning and don’t let them stand in your way.

  1. For When They Steal Your Idea

You have to reclaim, but let them finish first. Once they’re done, say something like “that clarified my point exactly” or “great way to expand on what I said, I would also say…”. You have to wait it out, but then you get the satisfaction of subtly shading them for interrupting you

  1. For When They Just Love to Hear Themselves Talk

Often your professor feels the same frustration.  If you’re lucky, they talk to the student first and then you don’t need to intervene. Sadly, though some action is necessary. You just have to jump in and give your professor to cut them off so they can call you or someone else.

I hope this helps and you can make it through your next lecture with peace of mind. Remember, saying a lot doesn’t always mean they have a lot to say.

Molly is a freshman studying political science at George Washington University where she is a member of the Honors College.
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