Ever wonder why you’re just not grasping that material in class? We usually blame the subject matter for being too difficult. Sometimes that is correct, but maybe you’re just standing in your own way and don’t even realize it.
Having trouble thoroughly understanding the material isn’t always a comprehension issue. As a matter of fact, it is more often an issue of focus. Unfortunately, that tends to be a difficult thing to control when you’re tired, bored, or just not interested in the material. There are many habits, however, that we can consciously stop, and several of these are what hurt a student’s ability to focus the most. You may also want to check out these tips on how to prepare for college classes.
Whether these habits are due to laziness, a need for entertainment, or a hope for getting energized, the main effect they are producing is distraction. Listed below are some common habits you should make sure to avoid when in the classroom.
Bringing your laptop: In the last few years, this has become more and more of an attractive concept to students. Many teachers are even banning it in recognition of its distracting ways. Being the essential item that it is, students are finding it increasingly more difficult to pass on bringing this beloved object of technology with them everywhere they go. Laptops may be convenient to pack up and later open up once you get settled at your desk, but they will take away from your classroom experience more than you’ll ever realize. Even if you bring it for the sole purpose of typing out your notes or following Powerpoint slides online, that bright screen is still going to distract you. With Facebook and Twitter just a click away, your odds of staying focused are not looking good. Save yourself the trouble and just leave your computer in your room.
Having a disorganized backpack: School schedules can make a young person quite busy, so it’s understandable how one can end up with their books and pens completely jumbled in their backpack. Especially if you’re running late, it’s more than likely that you’ll end up just tossing in whatever notebooks and writing utensils you can find at the last minute. You may have the necessary items all set, but once you arrive to class in an unexcited state, the last thing you’ll want to do is have to search through a messy bag for things to take notes on/with. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find a well-sharpened pencil when it comes time to take notes. Also, when the teacher references a page in the textbook, you’re probably going to miss out on seeing that reference for yourself if it’s a chore to get that book out of your backpack. Make it easy for yourself to get all of these materials out in a timely fashion so you won’t be cheated out of keeping up with the class. These are 6 habits to become a more organized student that you may also want to take a look at.
Snacking too much: This is another one that several teachers are forbidding. Maybe you skipped breakfast or are just antsy for lunch, but too many snacks during class will divert your mind. You may think it will help you concentrate since you are fulfilling your hunger – and it may do that a little bit – but you will mostly be distracting yourself and others. Aside from the fact that crunching on a bag of chips or slurping down a smoothie will probably annoy your classmates, your enjoyment of these treats will usually take priority over your attempt at absorbing the teacher’s lecture. It is also more difficult to ask a question or participate in class discussion when your mouth is full. If you need just a little something to tide you over that won’t take more than about a minute to eat, that’s one thing. But bringing a platter of snacks to get you through the entire class period will do more harm than good. If anything, who likes dealing with a mess of crumbs and wrappers?
Texting: This is a classic tool of distraction for students everywhere. It is also an action that is almost always on the “do not” list for teachers, but students tend to sneak past it. Well, the teachers restrict this with good reason. Not only will you be distracting yourself with whatever conversation you are having, but the great effort taken to keep the act of texting discreet will distract your mind even more. If this is how you spend your class, you’ll walk away only having learned how to keep your phone out of your teacher’s sight. Needless to say, this is not the knowledge your teacher intended for you to leave with.
Over-accessorizing: Bringing too many items to class is a sure-fire way to get distracted. For instance, if you make the top of your classroom desk appear as an office desk, you’ve brought too many things. Having a notebook and pens surrounded by a soda, a granola bar, highlighters, chap-stick, and that laptop of yours, will not help you in the long run. There is nothing wrong with being prepared, but keep all of these things organized in your backpack until and if you need them. Setting so much in front of you right away creates your own little world apart form the classroom’s, and the classroom’s world is the one you need to be in. Additionally, avoid hats that can somewhat block your vision or too much jewelry that can get in your way. Just keep things simple when you head to class. You may also want to check out these tips on the best study habits!