How to Sit Through a Boring Class

Three Parts:Staying Involved in ClassKeeping Your Hands MovingPreparing Yourself

Time seems to slow down when you’re stuck in a boring class. When the minutes feel like hours and your teacher drones on, it can feel like torture. While it’s tempting to let your eyelids close, don’t do it! Instead, find ways to keep your mind occupied until you hear that glorious bell ring.

Part 1
Staying Involved in Class

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    Take notes. This might be a bit boring, but it’ll keep you focused. If your teacher is giving a class-long lecture, the time will go faster if you’re transcribing notes. If you’re sitting in your seat and simply staring blankly ahead, you’ll be more bored and more likely to fall asleep.[1]
    • If taking notes is still incredibly boring, switch up your note-taking process. Switch from cursive, to all uppercase, to all lowercase, to bullet points, to bubble letters. Play around with your handwriting or the style simply to keep yourself busy and entertained.
    • Not only will you keep your mind focused and help the time go more quickly, you will have notes to refer to before tests and your grades will thank you!
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    Ask questions if you don't understand something. It's easy to lose focus if you feel completely confused about the subject matter, but asking questions for clarification can help you in many aspects.[2] Ask your teacher to explain it in a way that you can understand, and really try to get a handle on the difficult material you're struggling with. If you understand what your teacher is talking about, you can actually absorb the information and keep your mind occupied.
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    Ask probing questions even if you do understand everything. You’re stuck in class anyways, so why not get involved? You certainly won’t fall asleep while your teacher is talking directly to you. If it’s a large class, the adrenaline rush from being the center of attention is sure to jolt your energy. If your teacher is rambling on about a famous author, ask them about that author's life story. If you're learning a simple technique in math, challenge your teacher with hard sample problems. A boring class can be much more fun if you're keeping your teacher on their toes!
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    Find something interesting in every class. No matter what the topic is, challenge yourself to find something that sparks your interest. If you're learning about a historical event, imagine the modern day equivalent, as if it were occurring on a current day reality show. If you're learning about the scientific process, make up funny experiments that you could use to solve every day things you're curious about. Whatever you're learning, just try to make it fun!

Part 2
Keeping Your Hands Moving

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    Give yourself a writing challenge. Try to write down all of the lyrics to a song you’re really loving right now. If you’ve seen a movie over and over again, try to write down all the words from a particular scene. Make a list of all the countries you want to visit, all the presents you need to buy for Christmas, or every thing you want to accomplish before you die. It doesn’t matter what kind of challenge you give yourself, just keep yourself focused and writing.[3]
    • To the teacher or professor, you’ll look like you’re hard at work taking notes or doing homework. It’s a discreet and effective way to pass the time without looking like you’re completely slacking.
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    Massage your pressure points. There are certain spots on your body that you can rub or press to help keep you alert. Try gently massaging your temples or ear lobes, the back of your neck at the base of your skull, or the inside of your wrist. Apply pressure for three to five seconds, moving your hand in little circular movements, and see what works for you.[4]
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    Doodle. Draw a picture, sketch some flowers, or write your name in bubble letters. Anything is better than sitting at your desk doing nothing. Don’t worry if you aren’t an artist– this is not about creating a masterpiece. Instead, just have fun filling your notebook with doodles so that your mind is focused on something.[5]
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    Get a head start on homework. Instead of napping through class, try to get some work done. This will help free up your afternoons, and it’ll keep you busy through a boring class. If you can’t get anything done at your desk, make a to-do list of everything you need to do afterwards. You’ll be prepared and ready to take off running as soon as you’re dismissed.
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    Observe your teacher. Does he or she do something repeatedly? Maybe they say a similar word or phrase over and over again. Maybe they always flick their hair in the same way, motion with their hands when they get excited, or tap their foot when reading aloud. Pay close attention to see these funny little habits, and start counting. Not only will you pass the time by keeping your eyes and ears tuned into your teacher, but it can be comical to see how many times they say or do the same thing.

Part 3
Preparing Yourself

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    Drink coffee or an energy drink. Good luck keeping your eyes open for the entire class if you arrive exhausted. Sleep deprivation and a boring class are a recipe to end up face down on your desk, drooling. Grab a coffee or an energy drink before you take your seat, and the caffeine jolt will help keep you alert through the entire thing.[6]
    • If you aren’t allowed to bring drinks to class, make sure you’ve polished off your beverage before getting there.
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    Check out the material ahead of time. If you're completely lost and confused in class, it's easy to get bored and let your mind wander. Instead, read ahead before you get there. You can even prepare questions or comments in advance, so that you stay engaged and focused the whole time. Coming to class with knowledge and curiosity will not only keep you motivated during an otherwise boring class, but it will also earn you brownie points with your teacher.
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    Sit in the front row when you arrive. This, of course, only works if you’re allowed to choose your seat. When you sit in the front row, you’ll be smack dab in the center of the action, and it will be easier to stay attentive. Back rows and window seats are tailor-made for day dreaming or snoozing.[7]
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    Eat a snack, if you’re allowed. Not only does hunger make boredom even worse, but chewing is proven to keep the brain engaged and alert. Keep things like almonds, snack bars, or crackers in your bag to munch on when you’re stuck in a dull lesson.[8]
    • Don’t be that student who brings a smelly egg salad sandwich or noisy bag of crunchy chips to class. Make sure your class doesn’t have a strong smell and can be chewed quietly.
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    Get enough sleep. Again, there is nothing worse than rolling into class feeling like you could fall asleep before you even take a seat. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep the night before super boring classes.[9] If your body is used to going to bed at midnight, you’ll need to train your body to start falling asleep at an earlier hour.
    • If midnight is your typical bedtime, push it back to 11:30. Stick to that for a bit, and then push it back to 11:00, then 10:00, and so on until you’re falling asleep at a reasonable time.

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Categories: Surviving School