It’s not easy (or fun) trying to keep your focus during a long lecture. We can all agree on that, right? Before you know it, you’re scrolling through your phone under the desk and daydreaming about something totally unrelated to class. But when exam day rolls around, you’re probably going to regret those moments when you were physically in class, but not so much mentally. That’s why we’re sharing some tips on conquering long lectures below.
1. Bring a light snack.
If you ask us, there’s nothing more distracting than hunger. (And it’s totally awkward when your stomach lets out a loud rumble in a silent classroom…ugh). Get in a meal beforehand, but also bring something you can munch on during class in case your stomach starts begging for your attention. Ideally, something that isn’t messy or loud.
2. Adopt an effective note-taking technique.
Jotting down everything you hear is exhausting. After a while, you either give up and hope to find the PowerPoint online, or just get careless with your notes. We recommend adopting a note-taking strategy that isn’t as strenuous, and much more effective than writing everything down word-for-word. Check out some of our favorite strategies here.
3. Dress comfortably.
Lecture halls can get chilly! Keeping a sweatshirt in your bag is always a great idea, because shivering while you’re trying to focus isn’t fun.
4. Familiarize yourself with your professor’s office hours.
Did you accidentally zone out during the lecture and now you’re totally lost? Hey, it happens! There’s a lot of information covered in just one class, so it’s always good knowing your professor’s office hours. Pay them a visit whenever you need clarity on a lesson.
5. Engage in class discussions.
Okay, we know a lot of you would rather do anything than raise your hand in class, but hear us out. Participating in class discussions forces you to stay engaged, so you’re less likely to have a wandering mind and miss out on important information.
6. Grab your favorite caffeine fix.
Whether it’s coffee or tea, grab a cup on those days when you’re feeling especially sleepy. It’ll definitely help with staying alert.
7. As dreadful as this sounds, keep your phone in your bag.
Trust us, we know this one is hard! But even if you tell yourself you’re just going to send one quick text or scroll through just a few Instagram images, you’re going to have trouble regaining your focus on the lecture. Don’t get sucked into that rabbit hole!
You’re sitting in one spot for a long time, so stretching is a must! It’ll get your blood flowing and keep you alert, so make sure to get in some simple desk stretches here and there. If your professor allows for a break during class, get up and walk around for a bit.
9. Befriend some classmates.
Having a friend or two in your class definitely makes it less dreadful, don’t you think? Aside from that, these friends can help you out whenever you need clarity on an assignment or want to get together for a group study session.