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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

We’re nearly a month into school, which means unfortunately we can no longer say the reason we aren’t paying attention in our lectures is because we’re in “summer mode.” If you’re like me and you’re still struggling to get back into “study mode” and actually sit still for three hours at a time, try some of these tips for taking better notes and paying attention in class!

1. Sit near the front


Force yourself to sit where the professor can see you. If you have the fear of the professor walking past you during lecture to motivate you, you won’t be as tempted to take that Buzzfeed quiz about what kind of bread you are. Let’s be honest, you shouldn’t take that quiz at any time, because your favourite colour and season do not indicate that you are honey-oat, whole wheat bread.

2. Hand write your notes

Coming from someone who is in English and has the luxury of slower-paced lectures, I try to hand write my notes as much as I can because I find it easy to get distracted on my computer. If you can write quickly enough to keep up, or you know the professor posts the lecture slides so you don’t have to write every word, try putting the computer away and pulling out a pen!

3. Put your phone AWAY

This one is obvious, I know, but still so many of us don’t do it, so I’m going to say it despite its redundancy. Put your phone in your bag, in your coat pocket, leave it in your car, put it away and out of site! Turn the vibrate off so you can’t hear or feel when you get a notification—don’t try to trick yourself and say you’re putting your phone away but then checking it every time you feel your backpack vibrate. Your group chat crisis about what to wear out on Friday night for Charity Pub can wait 45 minutes until the break.

4. Turn your internet off

If your professor talks at lightning speed or doesn’t post lecture slides or you just know you can’t write fast enough, turn the wifi off on your computer. Obviously if you’re really committed to not being committed to class, you can switch your wifi on easily but at least it’ll keep your iMessages and Facebook notifications from popping up in the meantime.

Give it a try! Your future self will thank you in a few weeks when you’re studying for your midterm and you don’t have whole sections of notes missing because you were busy looking up which of the 40 new Fenty Beauty foundation shades is best for you. Plus, RiRi deserves your full attention so save it for when you’re not learning!

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Julia is majoring in English at King's at Western. She loves Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl and many shows in between, and you can most often find her in the Library or the Student Centre drinking coffee and listening to Hamilton or Mumford and Sons.
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