Flying high above the clouds, or taking notes in a 300-student intro lecture? They’re more alike than you might guess.

Already missing the warm fuzzy feeling of sitting in your 8:40 lecture class as the semester winds down? Wish there was a way you could capture it just once more as you head home for the holidays? Sure, you could swipe in to the empty lecture hall, sit in the same seat you staked out at the beginning of the semester, try and fit your notebook or laptop on the minuscule folding tables—but it just wouldn’t be the same.

Students chasing that high might be able to find it in an unexpected place as they finalize travel plans, though: on an airplane. Through careful study, Bwog has managed to assemble a list of all the ways embarking upon a flight is much the same as enduring a long lecture class:

Small, uncomfortable seats are one of the worst offenses airplanes have to offer, unless you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars more to sit further forward. But they’re no worse than lecture seats, which don’t have a first-class area and can’t even recline. As you unfold the too-small table from the seat in front of you, just imagine that you’re back learning the structures of the US Congress or how data structures are arranged in the Java programming language. Won’t that make the entire experience that much more enjoyable?

Distracting screens make paying attention to lectures hard—we’ve all been and seen the people playing the crossword instead of taking notes. For some (including your intrepid writer) planes offer a great chance to get work done, where there’s no internet to procrastinate on and no way to wander around listlessly. Except there’s a bright monitor at eye level offering movies you’ve always wanted to watch but never quite got the chance…and so on. Whenever you find your attention drifting like the wind at 30,000 feet, comfort yourself by realizing how much like your introductory bio lecture the experience is.

When planning, the people in charge bank on less people showing up than ought to. Professors advise students still on the waitlist to stick around through the add/drop period because other students will inevitably back out of an early lecture—and, throughout the semester, attendance gradually dwindles even for those who are enrolled (especially as people start attending from the comfort of their room). Flights make money by overbooking and predicting a certain percentage of customers simply won’t show up, and they’re often enough right.

Getting a seat there feels prohibitively expensive. Flight profit margins are surprisingly low, at least before amenities like additional baggage, but around the holidays ticket prices still rise into the stratosphere. Columbia’s tuition, is, of course, already there. Whether you’re assigned to a window seat on board a plane or simply picked one out in the lecture hall, make the most of it!

Life rafts are available beneath your seats in the event of a water evacuation. Self-explanatory.

Airplane cabin via Pixabay