5 Tips for Getting Through a Class You Hate

We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s a tedious requirement for a major, you just don’t gel well with the professor, or it’s a prerequisite to the class you’re actually interested in; we’ve all landed in a class we hate. I’ve been there a couple of times and whenever I couldn’t transfer or withdraw, I managed to still get something out of all those hours of class. Here’s just five tips that I’ve learned for the next time you get stuck in a god-awful class.

1. Focus most of your energy onto the work and classes you do like

This is an obvious tip, but an important one! It’s easy to let the one class you hate totally eat up your time and attention. Speaking from experience, it was always cathartic to rant with friends, but it also let me just sit in that bad mood and it would bleed into how I felt about all the other work I was doing. So, every time you get the urge to vent an unhealthy amount, switch to work you actually enjoy, don’t let the bad class get the better of you and overtake your time.

2. Find something, even if it’s small, that you like about the class

The hardest thing about trying to pass a class you hate – fighting the urge to skip. What’s always helped me is just finding some aspect about it that I like. Easier written-for-a-listicle than done, I know. But I mean it when I say it can be something small. For me, sometimes it was the time it gave me to write or a friend I made in the class. Other times, it was something even smaller like how close the class was to a doughnut shop. The small things add up, especially when you’re trying to force yourself into a class you despise.

3. Add a creative spin or direction to the assignments

A lot of the classes I’ve disliked involved longform work and writing that took a mental toll. Doing work for a class you hate can feel restrictive and like a waste of time. But once I reminded myself that I still had some creative license with them, the work got easier. Especially with how we’re at colleges so focused on the arts, there’s usually a way of adding some kind of creative or personal layer to things to make the time go by faster. Plus, this way you still come out of the class with work you like and can add to your portfolio.

4. Talk to the professor about the aspects of the class you don’t like

To be clear, I don’t just mean the course evaluations that you don’t get to take until the very f*cking end of the class. I’m talking about when a professor asks in class or during a conference, it can be helpful to be honest about what you’re struggling with or dislike. At the end of the day, a class can be miserable for everyone, professors included. Most of the time, they can probably also feel when people don’t want to be there and want to fix that. So, if the opportunity comes up, just tell them where you feel the class leaves you wanting.

5. Plan ahead for the next semester ASAP

Most of the time, landing in a bad class happens when planning and registration goes wrong. So, get on it for the next time and start looking ahead to what classes you think would be good for next semester. Some bad classes are unavoidable, others can be planned around. This also just helps as a reminder that this bad class will come to an end and you’re almost out of there.