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Tips for Surviving a Boring Lecture

Male student sleeping at his desk

The lights begin to dim as you look to the projector and your lecture commences. Time seems to have slowed to a crawl. The lecturer's mouth is moving but you can't seem to make out anything they're saying.

Eventually you give up trying to listen and glance down at your notes for guidance. Instead of writing, however, there are doodles of badly drawn cats. Miserable and defeated, you lay your head on the desk, mentally kicking yourself for playing Temple Run the past hour.

If this sounds familiar, don't worry – I promise you're not alone. This semester it's time to put your Angry Birds back in their cages, whip out those notebooks and start scribbling! Here are some tips for making that dull lecture a teeny tiny bit more bearable…

1. Preparation

Preparation (not to be confused with procrastination) is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of uni students everywhere. As hellish as it sounds, it's a simple concept that can improve a lecture ten-fold! Take the time before a lecture to read through the slides and do the readings, and behold, the lecturer makes way more sense! The better you understand, the more likely you are to listen.

2. Friends

You may as well do this thing together! Sit with someone you know, and motivate each other to listen. A little bit of company (even if it’s just someone to exchange confused looks with) is always good to have in class.

3. Brain Food

If you’re hungry or thirsty, it’s almost impossible to concentrate. Stash a bottle of water and some (healthy) study snacks in your bag and reach for them when you feel your concentration fading.

4. Notes

Have fun with your notes and use some colour – who doesn't love colour-coding?! Using different colour pens for different points will help to make the material more memorable and help to keep your mind on study when the discussion strays into obiter territory. Plus when exam preparation time roll around you will thank yourself for that extra effort you put into your lecture notes during class.

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