Keeping Boredom at Bay

On Friday in my high school physics class it seemed like the bell would never ring.  The teacher had lectured for way too long and the class now had some down time.  I glanced around the room and encountered a familiar sight.  Most of my classmates were on their phones, checking social media or playing games. I am a little bit of a minority member as I don’t have a smart phone myself so I just sat there, feeling isolated and annoyed.  Sometimes a whole class period can be overshadowed with feelings of boredom, from my mindless note taking to the lonely down time.

I know everyone has encountered situations of chronic classroom boredom so I decided to think of some helpful ideas on what to do to avoid that very thing.  Here’s what I came up with:

  1. When you do have free time in class, pull out some homework! I find so much time open up after school when I take advantage of down time in class.  While everyone else checks the latest Twitter posts, you could finish your English annotations! Take advantage of even five minutes and the time will really add up in your favor.
  2. The teacher is lecturing and you are practically asleep, blocking out the monotonous voice. Here is an idea, pay attention.  I know very well that a lot of material can seem (and I must say sometimes is…) so irrelevant to your life and totally uninteresting but you really can learn some cool facts if you put your mind to it.  You may find that by sitting up and listening you discover your interest in random topics.
  3. If the lecture seems endless, make your notes more interesting. I pay attention way more if I am trying to make my notes look awesome and my handwriting beautiful.  I have a friend who is a good artist.  She embellishes her notes with little pictures and it helps her to be much more attentive. Do whatever makes you happy! When you make notes your own, they become your own priceless piece of art instead of boring class work.
  4. Okay this suggestion is a bit harder. Put your phone away for a while!  I mean during down time and especially during lectures.  In my math class, lots of kids block out the teacher with music or games, and although they seem to have more fun in class, they have a harder time on tests, as all the information goes right over their heads.  Listening may seem boring but it really is worth the effort.
  5. And last but not least – after you put your phone down, look around and reach out!  I guarantee there is someone like me without a smartphone or someone with their phone too who would love to have a real life conversation!  If you spend the time you would have wasted on your screen gaining a new friend, you will be SO MUCH HAPPIER!

Do you have ideas on how to turn boredom into productivity?   Please share!

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  • kyleebellerobbins
    April 17, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Meg! Loved this post! It is just what I needed.

  • Alliegreene
    April 17, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Meg!!! Such a wise person

  • Rochelle Tallmadge
    April 18, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Great advice for grown-ups, too. I find that I sit down to prepare a seminary lesson and 30 minutes later, I can’t account for my time. Smart phones are a blessing and a curse! Thanks for the great tips.