OMG, this class is so boring! How are you going to get through it?
It’s true. Some lectures could be more effective at putting you to sleep than Ambien. Nevertheless, attending lectures remains a key ingredient for performing well in college. Here are some pointers:
1. Even A students get bored at times by lectures. What is the difference between the A student and the C student? Their approach to the lecture. Don’t let “boring” become an excuse for not showing up to class. Dive right in, sit near the front, buy a coffee, and simply face the fact that you will be less than entertained for a couple of hours. Get in the mental game and you will survive.
2. One of my friends from graduate school took impeccable notes, and before exams everyone lined up to study with him. When I asked him his secret his response surprised me: “I’m bored in class, so I write everything down.” That is an A student approach to the problem! Instead of avoiding lecture he planted himself close to the front of the room and made it a bit of a game to literally write down word for word what the professor said. Give it a try.
3. Absolutely read the material before class. If you are unfamiliar with the course material then it will only magnify the boredom. Not reading would be like signing up for a book club, going to the gathering but never bothering to open the book. Or, to put it another way, it would be akin to listening to an inside joke for two hours and paying money for the experience. How boring! Be sure to prepare and stay in the loop.
4. When you are reading the material create possible questions to ask in class (if the professor takes questions). Participating in class speeds up time for you. And, you never know, your question could prompt others to speak up and the class could take an intriguing turn. Dare I suggest, you might enjoy the class then?
5. Do not take out your phone to answer or read emails. Again, this will make the boredom worse. You are essentially running away from the problem by turning to the cell phone rather than confronting the issue head on. This is a C student response. Moreover, it is a bad habit. After college you might find yourself in other boring situations like work meetings. It is not a good (or beneficial) idea to tune out and gravitate to your phone while others are talking. Indeed, there will be times when your good friends bore you! Would you take out your phone while they talk? Of course not. For class time, strengthen your concentration abilities and keep the phone in your bag.
6. This last point is a bit painful but it must be made, namely, are you making an effort in the class? Finding something interesting, like recognizing beauty, takes time and thought. One isn’t always “struck” or in “awe.” Often, interest is the result of devoting energy to appreciation of said subject (or object). When you learn more you will discover more things to be interesting. The boring lecture just might-maybe-possibly-I’m-sorry-to-point-it-out be indicative of your disposition rather than the professor’s.
Overall, keep the end goal in mind: to do well. We’ve all been through a boring lecture. You will survive! Remember, it is your grade on the line, so don’t shy away from the class even if you need to muster all of your brain power to stay alert. Good luck!
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“The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has and the less he is at the mercy of fate.” Bertrand Russell