How to Survive a Boring Class

How to Survive a Boring Class
  • Opening Intro -

    You really didn't think that every class you're required to take in college would be a walk in the park, did you?

    Maybe among your chosen electives you thought you'd pick the winners, but every college requires students to take classes that they aren't particularly fond of be that Microeconomics, Introduction to Polynesian History, or Visual Calculus.


While you may not be motivated to take a particular class, your instructor is. And, if you goof off in class, you’ll quickly find yourself at odds with your professor, quite possibly ending up with a grade that will harm your GPA. Here is how to survive a boring class.

1. Put away your electronic devices. It is against school policy for students to be texting, tweeting, gaming, or otherwise electronically distracted while class is in session. Once you’re in class, shut everything down and pay attention. Never allow your e-device to come between you and your learning. That includes the PED your classmate uses to play Clash of Clans and wants to share with you — learn to dominate the realm after the class is over.

2. Take notes. Listen attentively to your instructor and you just may learn something. Taking notes in a boring class can be a chore, but you can make a game of it by listening for certain keywords or phrases he or she repeats. Know that you’ll be tested on those points, so write these words down and then define them in your own words. Oligopoly sounds like monopoly, but it describes a market where a small number of firms are present. Think of an industry where this is true and then jot down company names. If all else fails, play tic-tac-toe.

3. Ask questions. Class participation is an important part of your grade. Typically, it counts for as much as five points, what your instructor will award to students that add value to the discussion, even if the class is desperately boring. You’ve been paying attention, taking notes, and now you have one or more questions you want to ask. Or at least a question that can break up the drone of a lecture. Carefully frame your question that demonstrate your (feigned) interest in the topic. Give yourself extra credit if your professor takes the bite and provides a long-winded response that consumes the rest of the class time.

4. Avoid the clock. Terrible for you if your class meets once weekly and is three hours and 40 minutes long. Sure, you get a 10-minute break about half-way through, when you’ll be tempted to split and not return. That’s a bad move on your part — your prof will note your absence. And as hard as it is to avoid doing — never look at the clock. Time will move no faster and you’ll swear that it even moves backwards if you are consumed by clock watching.

5. Do not eat. The worse time to schedule a class is when you’re hungry. Or at least when you’re prone to think about food, which is often. Your backpack is large enough to hold a meal for your entire class, but it should only house your books and personal belongings, perhaps a bottle of water. Don’t think for a moment that your prof will not hear the crinkling sound a bag of chips makes when you tear it open or the crunching munching noise as you take every bite. Eat enough before class and plan your meals accordingly.

6. Don’t be the fall guy. Every class has one: a student who rightly or wrongly is the bane of the professor. As boring as the class may be, strive not to be identified as that individual. Instead, let Bob or Sheila take the hit — after all, they’ve long been violating points No. 1, 4, and 5, and the teacher knows it. Sit anywhere near these violators and you’ll be pulled in. Keep your charade going, but keep it private and quiet.

Your Career Preparation

Seriously, if a class bothers you that much, how will you survive once you are at work? Let’s face it: every job has it share of mindless meetings, self-important managers, and bootlicking employees. Learning how to overcome challenges while in college will prepare you for the next 40 to 50 years of your life.

See AlsoNew Study Habits for the New Year


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Categories: Study Tips