Having trouble focusing in class? We’ve all been there. Focusing isn’t easy; a 2014 article states that the average attention span for a college student lasts from 15-20 minutes – yet classes at SJU are either 50 or 1:15 long! With midterms just ending and finals right around the corner, now is the time to revamp your attention to detail in class to make sure you get the highest grades possible come this December. Following some of these ideas might just save your grade!

Doodling

Doodling normally is thought of as a distraction, but what if Harvard said otherwise? Then would you try it? Doodling can decrease stress, improve memory and help you be more present in the class discussion. Next time you find yourself struggling to stay attentive, try doodling something in the corner of your page. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy!

Photo by Brynn Maiden ’20

Chewing Gum

Were you not allowed to chew gum in middle school because your teachers said it was too distracting? Turns out they’re wrong! Psychology Today says that chewing gum has numerous benefits like improving your alertness, reaction time and quickening your ability to retain information. Make sure you stop by the POD before class!

Sleeping Well

This one seems like a given, but it’s far too often overlooked. The benefits of a strong night of rest go well beyond being able to stay attention in class. It affects your happiness, memory, energy and so much more. Still not convinced because you’ve been barely sleeping all of college so far and you feel fine? Huffington Post says it’s “impossible to focus when you haven’t slept”, so maybe go to bed a little earlier tonight and see how you feel.

Take a walk

Sometimes nothing else will do the trick like a nice walk does. When the weather is nice and the sun is out, the last place you want to be in is your classroom. If you find yourself unable to give the class your full attention, go for a quick walk. Pace the halls, go to the water fountain or make a quick restroom stop, just make sure to catch up with the information you missed when you get back to the room. If you can’t leave the room, physical activity, in general, helps you stay focused throughout the day. So if you can’t walk then, run later.

Photo by Brynn Maiden ’20

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners- the hottest gadget of early 2018. If you didn’t have one you weren’t interesting and suddenly toys become cool again. Just like any fad, things get old and now nobody has them anymore. But just because the fidget craze is over doesn’t mean you should throw yours away! Fidget spinners work the same as stress balls, by giving your mind and body something to do that requires barely any thought helps the rest of you stay more focused on what your goal is. In this case, it’s class. Next time you get the urge to fidget in class, give it a spin!

With these five tips, you’ll be able to master the class like never before. Don’t try them all at once. Go one by one and see which one works for you. Say goodbye to poor exam grades and say hello to academic success!

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