A year after I graduated, I’d visited my University a couple of days ago to procure some important documents. The colossal building, my professors, those corridors, class rooms, the canteen, everything about the campus awakened a rush of undying nostalgia in me. All those days which I spent trying to master the subjects in the recent past slowly unfurled before me. On a related note, I want to share with the students among the readers of ShareJunk, an important technique I’d learnt over the four long years of my under-graduate life. And that is – How to survive the ordeal of boring college lectures.
Many of my professors often used to say, “You won’t pass the exams if you don’t attend the lectures.” To be honest, most of us didn’t like lectures. With many classes involving lecturing, we found it difficult to focus what professors were saying. Traditional lectures often got us bored, tired and impatient. However, traditional lecturing remains one of the most common methods of teaching all over the world because of its vast outreach in a stipulated time slot.
According to a study made by Dr. Sandi Mann and Andrew Robinson from the University Of Central Lancashire, when asked what they did to cope with boring lectures, 75% of students named daydreaming, 66% chose to doodle, 50% chatted or sent text messages and 38% passed notes to friends. 25% of students left the lecture at the mid-session break. None of these strategies seems beneficial, and it leads to nothing but a waste of time. I don’t think it was any different in our case, except we also used to ‘mass bunk’ the lectures time and again which is even more detrimental.
When you are a college student with tons of assignments to accomplish, dozens of exams to pass, and crazy campus life to survive, you need to do something with those boring lectures making your life miserable. And this is where I thought I could be helpful.
- Ask questions: This is a best way to speed up time as well as engage actively in a boring discussion. Go through some studies, news-articles related to the subject and prepare some questions for the professor. It might turn out to be interesting to your peers too.
- Focus on the subject, not the speaker: Even an interesting subject might get you bored coming from the monotonous voice of a professor. Try and focus on the content being delivered rather than the voice. This trick helps to limit boredom and distraction.
- Do your homework: If the lecture is literally unbearable, you can use this time to do homework, assignments, lab reports etc. This is one of the common techniques used by students.
- Read: This is important for technical subjects. If the lecture is boring, it doesn’t automatically mean that the subject is boring too. Try and read the textbook to develop an interest in it and learn it on your own.
- Unleash creativity: When you find yourself in a boring lecture, use this time to do something creative, something that you enjoy doing. Make sketches, write lyrics, even start writing a novel. Why not, after all? Record the lecture and listen to it later. You can download many voice recording apps in the PlayStore and Apple Store.
- Write it down: Boring lectures should never be an excuse to bunk classes. When bored, sit in the front and write everything down diligently. When you take notes, you give your brain a purpose in listening to the professor’s words and filter the information to decide what’s worth remembering.
All said and done, a change of attitude is also helpful to battle this situation better. Don’t consider a lecture boring and pointless before it begins; otherwise, it will appear to be so regardless its content. Go there with a purpose, focus, be attentive, and respect your professor.
Wish you a merry student life!