Problems of a Left-Handed College Student

Here are some problems that only left-handed college students will understand.

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Left handed student

You never really think about it. Which hand you write with, use a computer mouse with, or  even use a fork with. It’s just part of who you are.

Growing up, I always thought I was just like everyone else, until someone pointed out that I wrote with my left hand. Nothing too outrageous, right? And luckily, in college, almost everything is made to be easily accessible for anyone from any walk of life.

But have you ever tried to look for a left handed desk in a lecture hall?

It’s not so much a hassle, but it is something a left-handed student has to think about.

I never really wondered about how I have to adjust my natural instincts until I realized that I was almost the only left-handed person in my classes. In fact, only 15% of all the population is left handed. And those of you in that 15% can agree with me that there are just some things that you wish were simpler.

3 Problems Only Left-Handed Students Will Understand:


I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to sit in the far back corner of a classroom because that’s where the only left-handed desk is. In lecture halls, they’re nowhere to be found. 

To maximize space, my university has fold-out desktops over the right side of every chair. It means there are more chairs in a lecture hall, but I have to reach over to write my notes in class. 

It may not seem like that big of a deal, but when your dominant hand has to strain to type or write, it is not a pleasant workout feeling. Thankfully, if there isn’t anyone sitting on my left side, I am able to use their fold out desk. Just one small way I put my college education to good use.


Oh, notebooks. The bane of my existence. 

Anything with a spiral or any binder clip is quite a challenge. I have to write with my hand on the spiral, and it’s a little hard to keep everything neat and not drift all over the paper. It makes my handwriting a little wonky when I have to rest my hand on the edge of a notebook. Not to mention that when writing, I get that graphite smudge from dragging my hand over my freshly written words instead of writing the words before my hand gets to them, like a right handed person would do. Just another battle wound of writing so much.

Eating Cafeteria-Style.

I’m always on a conscious lookout for an end seat in the cafeteria, or else I’m bumping elbows with the person next to me. It’s a funny occurrence the first time, but it get’s less and less funny as it continues to happen. It’s almost the same for my drinks as well. One time, I put my drink down on the left side, and person next to me thought it was theirs. Thankfully, they liked root beer as much as I do, and we had a good laugh about it while I got a new drink.

Just as a note: I do not feel oppressed nor do I take my left-handedness as a disability. If anything, I enjoy being left-handed. It’s something that makes me instant friends with other left-handed people, and it’s always a good ice breaker. I just think it’s interesting to have a different view of the world explained to you. Everything always seems normal until you see it from another person’s perspective.

So, to my left-handed brethren, I leave you with the knowledge that I, as much as you do, understand the complications of being a lefty.


Are you left handed? Do you struggle with things at school? What about right-handed struggles? (Do they exist?) Tell me in the comments!

13 thoughts on “Problems of a Left-Handed College Student”

  1. The sad truth is that many left handed people write slower than a right handed person. This means in exams you get less words down on paper and that can mean lower marks. I found Math easiest at school as you work down the page rather than across and only later found out that writing was in fact my forte in the days of the keyboard. It is a right handed world.

  2. For the whole notebook thing, start from the back and work your way to the front. So the spiral rings will be on the right side instead. This saved me from being extremely annoyed in high school and the start of college. Yeah, your book is backwards but you can comfortably write. Honestly, the best tip for any left handed person!!!!

  3. OH THE PAIN OF BEING A LEFTY !!! These are all so true ! I’ve learned to not drag my hand across the my words though and loose leaf paper really helps with the notebook problem.

  4. I loved this article!! I always hated my right handed-ness because Lefties are so special and unique (to make up for it, I’ve insisted on marrying a Leftie in the future, even if it’s a little weird). It’s a relief to hear I dodged a bullet.

    As for notebooks, can’t you just write on the backside of every page? In fact, I’ve seen specially made Leftie notebooks that you can order online.

    Lastly, and I know this is a little random, I think it’s so cool your name is Alaina because my mom just changed her name to be spelled that way! Thanks for posting, CF 🙂

    • They came recently into the market and they are not easily available everywhere.
      And I even have issues with pens especially the gel ones. I had to write with them for three years and that too when I just switched from pencil to pens. Was definitely a pleasant experience.
      till to this day If you see my left hand, It is always covered in smudges till my elbow.
      I can’t even sit with my friends during lectures as I’m a lefty I have to sit on the left side of the bench..

  5. I am left handed but I’ve never really had THAT many problems with it. I mean yeah some things are annoying and I have had instances where I wish things were a little easier for me being left handed. It affected me in cheerleading, field hockey, etc. and I can definitely relate to the spiral notebook thing. As far as the desks in lecture halls, I kinda feel like it’s not a problem for me at all. I guess maybe because I’m double jointed and I’m forced to turn my notebook completely sideways. *sigh* Struggles of a left handed person.

    But hey, there aren’t that many of us so it makes us super special 😉

  6. I’m a left handed high school student, and it helps to know that there are others out there like me. My dad and I are the only lefties in the family. It doesn’t really bother me that I’m left handed until those kind of situations that you mentioned occur. Some can be quite funny, though. And like you, I also get a lot of pencil smears on my hand since I’m always scribbling in a notebook. Thanks for sharing anyway- I’ll be on the lookout for those non-leftie friendly problems when I go to college:):)

  7. I am actually right handed, but last year I suffered an injury to my right hand and had to start using my left hand. It was only then that I realised these things! It was inconvenient sometimes, but it wasn’t that big an issue. On the bright side, I am now ambidextrous!

  8. … just for a moment I guess because I’m ambidextrous… that’s probably why it’s not noticeable, but I have a preference for using my left to write 😛

  9. I was late for class once and had to sit in one of those left handed seats. I just accepted it as my penance for being late! I feel your pain/ frustration now! LOL

    Pretty much sums up my college experience–I still have nightmares about those desks. First world problems.


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