Graphic by Brett Ferrin

Three hours in a stuffy, hot classroom is far from any student’s ideal summer afternoon. Our imaginations easily pull us from the lecture to our preferred summer activities. I have both a six hour class and a three hour class, I feel your pain.

Need help coming up with ways to keep yourself interested and entertained for these long classes? Here are some ways I have found help to make it through.

Say hello to your neighbors!

It doesn’t hurt to talk to the students around you, as long as you’re not interrupting the lecture. This can give you someone that you can study with, and even a new friend.

In my six hour photography class I have met some friends who I think I will have for a while. I met them simply because I was outgoing and introduced myself. Good friends, lots of laughs and inside jokes make long classes much more bearable.

Snacks always help!

If you know that your class is during lunch time or dinner time, it may not be a bad idea to bring a snack. Often most long classes offer a break in the middle of the class, take advantage of that and feed yourself.

My geology class is from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. My stomach always begins to gurgle halfway through. When I take a snack such as pretzels, chips or a fresh piece of fruit, I can always make it through the second half of class much easier.

Be creative!

We all find ourselves doodling when we are in classes, especially when we become bored of the lecture. It may feel like our professor is droning on for what seems like a decade or two.

What if what we were doodling actually helped us remember and process the lecture better? When your professor takes a break and you have a chance to let your hand rest from the furious note taking, doodle little pictures around your notes that will remind you of a concept or term you learned.

This gives you a chance to drill the concept into your head, keeping the subject light and fun.

Stretch your legs!

During long summer courses the professors give a 15-20 minute break in the middle of class. Take the chance to stretch your legs and walk around.

I suggest getting out of the classroom during this short amount of time. Run your toes through the grass and breathe in some fresh air.

When I get into class after a short break I always feel refreshed and ready to process the next amount of information that my professor throws at me.

Ask about what you don’t understand!

The best way to master a concept is to ask questions and participate in the class. Not only does this help you understand the course better but it also makes the class more enjoyable.

If you ask questions the professor is more likely to remember who you are. When you are confused in a class, remember that your professor is one of the best resources to turn to.

Many of these tips have helped me get through these long, and sometimes boring, summer classes. Make the best of it and remember to still get out and enjoy summer!


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