Are you an attention-seeking whore? Do you feel like the only way to reinforce and validate your identity is through conspicuous conduct in the classroom? Do you have an overblown sense of self-consciousness that can only be alleviated by projecting your neuroses onto your peers at wildly inappropriate times? Have no fear: these simple instructions will lead you to the highest echelons of douchebaggery. In no time flat, your self-satisfaction will blind you to the disgust and disdain of your professors and classmates.

Add to the discussion only to show how smart you are. Bonus points for starting your inane rambling just as class is ending, so that it is plain to everyone that you are trying to make up for your lack of attention and participation, and that you don’t care at all about taking up other people’s time. Your commentary should be only vaguely relevant to the discussion, making it clear that while you know what the discussion has been about, you haven’t been listening to anyone. If possible, intentionally obfuscate your point because you’re sure that in doing so, people will just assume that you’re too smart for them.

Always direct discussion to your pet issue. Are you a WAGS major? No matter what class you’re in, be it music history, microeconomics, or modern architecture, be sure to steer all the conversation in your class towards gender issues. Never stray from your belief that gender issues (or concerns regarding homosexuality, Judaism, socio-economic classes, profit motives, or theater in general, really anything will do) create the conflicts that define all life experiences. Try not to allow anyone to speak on the assumption that other motives for action, in any discourse at all, exist.

Make plenty of references to your previous life experiences. Nothing brings out the best in a class discussion like hearing about how you sailed the Atlantic on a 12 meter yacht, spent every summer working with HIV-positive albino orphan sex workers, or even about this guy Lenny who works at your dad’s dealership. Just be sure to let us know that it will never be enough to have done things with your life: you’ll always feel inadequate without our approval because it was clearly never enough for your father. Also, make it just random enough that everyone is pretty sure you’re lying.

Make plenty of references to previous classes with the professor.
You and the professor are in a secret, super-awesome club. Make sure everyone knows that. Quote lectures from the previous class and try to turn it into a discussion just between you and the professor, and include as many in-jokes as you possibly can. Only talk about books, movies, and other media from the previous class, and let everyone know that you have mastered all of them, and that this class is child’s play. In fact, do your best to convince everyone through your insightful commentary that really, you could essentially teach this class. And don’t even limit yourself to previous classes with the teacher: claim to have memorized the bible, written a doctoral dissertation on the rights of women in the court of John of Gaunt, and discussed the finer points of constitutional law with your friend William Rehnquist. The more you impress people the better. And remember that your professor is your personal buddy who is endlessly proud of your scholarship, wit, and insight.

Dress for success. Inappropriate clothing is what takes you over the top: for guys, the loafers/slacks/collared shirt/sport coat combo is pretty popular, just make sure that if it rains you wear a suede overcoat and velvet gloves.Extra points for a tailored felt hat.

For girls, the uggz/stockings/miniskirt/tanktop/scarf/gaudy earings/too much makeup combo is very prevalent and highly successful- but there are numerous variations on this theme., anything will work as long as it conspicuously reinforces the self-image you are trying to validate with your behavior.

Variations on a theme.Of course, there are other ways of proclaiming your douchebaghood:

  • Jock Douchebag: only wear jerseys, work out clothes, ball caps, etc.If you are called upon in class, try to convince everyone that you can barely read or form a coherent sentence: remember, you know nothing about the subject and you only took the class because someone told you it was an easy A. Before and after class, banter loudly with other jock douchebags about the latest sports figures, a recent game, or the party over the weekend. You’ve discussed these things already, but now other people can hear you so it’s special all over again. And be sure to tease your buddy who hooked up with some drunk chick: making fun of drunk people is fun, plus you are way too cool to hook up with chicks and you need to prove it through ridicule.
  • A Capella Douchebag: Sing. Sing loud. Sing whenever you can, at inappropriate times.Try to pick pop songs everyone has heard, but use your special powers of inflection and introspection to show everyone that you put your entire soul into it. But don’t talk to anyone: you can only associate with members of your a cappella group, which everyone knows is the best one on campus.
  • Drama Douchebag: Your personality cannot be contained in the iron cage of the real world! It can only be liberated by that airy bastion of artistic purity, that for all that is too truthful for reality, that glorious freedom, that fiery ensemble of divine expression, the theatre!

So… do you see yourself doing any of these things? Then maybe I’m talking to you. But maybe, on the lower frequencies, I speak to myself…

See you in class.