In college, students are often use their computer during class to take notes or do other things, like online shop or text friends. However what if you were not allowed to use your computer for a whole week during class time? How would that make your feel? Would you be more distracted or more engaged in the class? For a whole week I, Danielle Henry, tried not using my computer during class and to see how fair I could last without my computer.


Today is the first day of no laptop week. To my luck, my first class is a laptop driven class, my Communications class. Imagine my frustration when everyone is on their laptop not actually doing work, while i am forced to stare at paper. Nevermind that my teacher got angry and kept staring at me for doodling in my notebook, but I literally just waisted paper because this is also a class were you don’t take notes. Instead, I am suppose to help my group in a blog we have to do in class every week, so, so sorry to my group because I legit did nothing. Never has a class been so boring in my entire life. Right now I’m thinking Jesus take the wheel because I can’t do this for a whole week.

Moving on… I went to my other classes per usual and found that it was a lot better using a notebook when the class relies heavily on notes. At first I could not keep up with writing, the teacher should be called “the flash” for fastest speaker alive. I swear, I have a bunch of sentences that are left hanging and I just can’t seem to…Anyways, probably twenty minutes in, after getting over my carpale tunnel, I started to get use to holding the pen in my hand. I realized that the time went by in the blink of an eye when your focused on writing everything.


Second day and another crack at reverting back to the Stone Age. Having no computer yesterday wasn’t god awful but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park. Today I start all over again with my next set of classes and I just hope I don’t butcher this.

I fear Chemistry will bear the same results, and like communications, turn out to be a huge waste of time. I am really a fish out of water here and out of my element with this stupid textbook. I feel somewhat naked with just my pen in hand and very useless. To top that all off I can tell my prof is annoyed because he keeps firing off dirty glances my way every time he gives us instructions for online assignments. Ugh I can’t wait to be done with this and it’s only the second day!!! Life is looking bleak and right now so is my participation. I could at least act like I’m doing something important in my book to seem involved… well that doesn’t work. Five minutes deep and I get called out for not doing anything relative to class, whoever said “fake it til you make it” really should just save their advice. Hating life rn and ready to get this week over asap.


It is now Wednesday, which means it is round two for not using my laptop in my Communications class. Learning from my disadvantages from Monday, I was proactive and worked on my blog outside of class. My notes are completely cover with doodles and not to pat myself on the back or anything, but they are pretty good. I will say that I find myself paying more attention and finding alternative ways to coming up with project ideas. As I sit in “the Flash’s” class waiting for him to start his lecture, my hand begins to shake. At this very moment I sure with I had my laptop in my hand, rather than a pen.   Like Monday, once the first twenty minutes or so went by, the rest was a breeze. I do feel like by not being on my laptop that when it comes time for our next quiz or test I will be more prepared.


As the week is coming to an end, I only have two days left with a notebook to use during class instead of my computer. I went to my chemistry class and everyone uses their computer in this class. So, I again felt out of place because I was the only one out of the whole class using a notebook. All I could think was “why why why why???” Honestly I can’t believe I signed up for this, only one more day, thank you lord. I started to look around the room and was curious what others were doing on their computer. We’re they taking notes? We’re they having just as much of a hard time paying attention in class like I was? I noticed that the person in front of me was online shopping and texting their friends the whole time. I started to think, do I do this too? I was jealous that this person had a distraction during class, unlike me. When the class was over, even though it was hard to not think about online shopping and talking to my friends during class, I was still forced to pay attention and listen to my professor and I felt like it was more engaged with the class then I was before.


At last, it is FRIDAY! I am proud of my progress throughout the week. One aspect that I would like to highlight is the quality of my notes. I took my habit of doodling and put it into color coding/ diagraming. I can now keep up with “the Flash” a lot better compared to the beginning of the week, which I see as a huge accomplishment. I do have to say I am looking forward to using my computer again on Monday!

So, despite what I thought way an inconvenience, everything turned out for the best. That’s the only way you can think about things like these, or else you’ll never get through them. And of all the lessons I learned in this little life experiment I will better from. Not only did a gain artistic abilities when it comes to note taking, but a greater appreciation for something as simple as pen and paper.

Goodbye hand cramps, hello weekend!


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