Surviving 3 Hour Classes

There come times within the span of a student’s college career where they must make tough choices about their academic schedules. It can be hard because a full-time student’s schedule consists of more than just school; sometimes students have one or two jobs or children and they still must plan for studying and their commute between all of these places. Classes that span for more than two hours can be convenient to take- especially if they’re in the evening- but torturous due to their longevity. 

The professor is droning on and on about whatever is on their PowerPoint; if they even have a PowerPoint, some professors don’t use visuals. It’s bad enough that you have to listen for 3 hours but you're also stuck in your seat for the next three hours listening. Sometimes the professor is boring and other times they’re animated. It makes a difference. Either way, it’s easy to become distracted and start playing games on your computer, texting, or even falling asleep. There are ways to keep on track:


Pull up the PowerPoint on your computer if the professor put it on BlackBoard. That will give you a visual to focus on. Plus the light from your computer screen will help to keep you awake! It’s easy to daze off or fall asleep during these classes.

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Make the goal of taking extensive notes: color-coding, highlighting, sectioning, etc. If you do this will give you something to focus on other than how long the class seems. Taking extensive notes will help you in the long run as well. When you’re ready to study for a test or write a research paper, it will be beyond helpful to have clear notes to look back on. 


Snacks are important! They can boost your energy and sate your hunger. Make sure you bring some if your professor allows it. That way hunger won’t take your focus away from the lecture.

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Use the Five Minutes Breaks

Usually, professors know that the class is long, and they designate a five to ten-minute break during the period. Take the break! Don’t sit in the classroom and wait for everyone to come back and the lecture to restart. Stretch your legs, visit the bathroom, run to Starbucks; just get the blood flowing in your body. Use this opportunity to gauge whether staying for the rest of the class is imperative or whether you can just leave. 

Take Your Own Breaks

If you find yourself unable to focus, take your own break mentally. If that means getting on your computer and searching up cooking recipes or shopping for clothes, go for it! But give yourself a time limit of five minutes because you don’t want to be distracted the entire class and miss everything. 

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If you do notice you’re absolutely unable to focus or sit still for the class, try your best not to take such long classes or reach out to learning services for advice. Otherwise, here’s to surviving three-hour classes, collegiettes!