How to take good notes in a boring class

Don’t understand what the professor is saying? Can’t seem to stay awake? Online shopping has an exclusive deal for a limited amount of time? Rather be doing literally anything else? These are all feelings and temptations we’ve encountered (and still do) in some of our classes. Thankfully, not as much anymore with these tips we're going to offer you.

 

When you don’t understand what the professor is saying:

This may sound questionable, but we promise it works. Write in your notes “I don’t know ____” 

We don’t all know what the professor is saying all the time… From my experience, that’s an invitation to office hours when professors do that, or our brains just aren’t keeping up. My tip is as follows: take note of what you do not know and look it up when you’re able to, while you’re still on your laptop, or no longer following discussion. Ask questions, do a little extra research for understanding, and go to office hours. Win-win and problem solved.

Sleepy girl in bed Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

When your eyes are heavy:

It’s not easy to remain awake, let alone alert, in boring classes and a busy week (or you’re just plain tired). Whether the course is poorly instructed, dreadfully boring, and you simply would rather take an L on attendance and wing the exam, here’s some advice to jot down notes.

  • Stand up and get a drink of water.
  • Ask the person next to you to keep you accountable.
  • Check the time every 15 minutes to evaluate your energy level, and count down!
  • Be intentional to pay attention to what the professor is saying.
  • Quick scan of the type of shoes everyone is wearing (not school-related, but why not).

online shopping with credit card Shopify Partners When you’re your own distraction with online shopping:

This will be blunt: exit out. It can wait! Online shopping is soooo tempting… but it’s not worth adding that extra cart of clothes or packages on top of an increasing SMU tuition. It is so hard when we go to a fashionable school and you want to keep up, I’m with you on that. Be disciplined and commit to class for that 50-80 minutes at a time. We got it!

 

When you would rather be doing literally anything else in the entire world than sit in a lecture or take notes or learn:

Mmmm yeah, a battle that is fought daily. I won’t lie… I sit in class contemplating how important attendance actually is, scheming which days I can miss with the number of absences SMU won’t count against you, if i get corona will it actually hurt me? day-dreaming/planning anything and everything after class is dismissed, l i t e r a l l y anything. This is a tough position to be in.

Honestly, maybe the best thing to do is take pride in your note taking skills and endure that class- color-code, highlight, underline, make tabs, whatever you gotta do to make class as enjoyable as it can be. Whether that be organization or writing in bubble-letters, do it! You’ll still be taking notes and maximize your attentiveness in class to take notes.

student carrying books and backpack Photo by Element5 Digital from Unsplash Fair warning: These tips will only work with application! We hope these tips will benefit your class experience and overall academic career. They are surely game-changers.