6 Things to Do Instead of Paying Attention in Class
One of the downsides of online learning (besides every single thing about it), is that it opens up a world of distractions. You are sitting in front of your computer, and as you start to zone out of the lecture, you decide to just open up another browser or go on your phone. The fact that it is so easy to get away with this makes it even easier to distract yourself. So, why not just embrace this newfound freedom and flex your multitasking skills as the semester comes to an end? (Fun fact: I wrote this article during one of my classes — talk about life imitates art!)
Work on a Paper
You know that 12 page paper you have to write for your GenEd class that you haven’t started yet? Yeah, the one that’s due tomorrow. Well, now is as good as time as any to get started on it. Don’t let your education get in the way of your, well, education. Use this time that you are forced to sit in front of your computer to try and see how many pages you can pump out in 75 minutes for that essay. You’ll be staring at your screen anyway so if your professor or TF glances at you, they will still see that same dead, empty look in your eyes staring at the camera as if you had been paying attention in class the whole time.
Use Your Phone
Chances are whenever you are in class your phone is somewhere close to you. We both know that you are itching to check who’s texted you or to take a quick scroll through Instagram. Why fight the pull when you can just embrace it and swap your laptop screen for your phone screen, especially since you are now much less likely to get caught being on your phone. You can try and hold your phone up to your laptop screen so that to everyone else you look like you are looking at your camera and not stalking your ex’s new boo on Instagram.
With Covid rampaging the streets, you may not feel completely comfortable with hitting up your favorite stores and revamping your wardrobe. It’s a good thing we live in a world where you don’t have to go shopping when shopping can just come to you. Go ahead and check out those flash sales and max out your bank account. Not that it matters much anyway since you have nowhere to wear your cute new outfits because you’re in your room 24/7, but you could start getting an outfit ready for your first post-Covid soiree.
Play Online Games
We have all zoomed through the limited range of online games that exist during our Zoom socials. Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, so if you are looking for some form of entertainment, go back to the classics. If you want to heighten the experience, Zoom chat a friend to join you in a quick game of skribbl.io or even Among Us. There’s nothing quite like murdering your friends and random strangers on the internet in the middle of your physics class.
Read Flyby Articles
On the one hand, if you want to do some online reading, you could use this time to catch up on important current events, especially since so much has been going on in the world lately. But on the other hand, you could also open up Flyby and read about the Harvard Houses as Taylor Swift albums. I mean, that could also be considered an important current event, right? In my unbiased opinion, Flyby provides some of the best entertaining reading to get you through your 9 a.m. lecture.
For the risk-takers, tune into your favorite Netflix show during class. If you’re going to watch something on your laptop for 75 minutes, might as well make it entertaining. You might not want to hear the harmonious sound of your professor and the characters on the show speaking at the same time, so you will probably have to mute the show (...or the class). Fortunately, you have subtitles so you can read and follow along with your professor’s voice providing some melodic background music.
Will your grades drop? Probably. Will you end up confused about what’s going on in the rest of the course? Possibly. Will you walk away from class feeling refreshed and energized from doing something fun (excluding writing your paper if that’s not your cup of tea)? Definitely. Even though the benefits may outweigh the drawbacks, it might be best to tune into your lecture once in a while so you have some idea of what’s going on. You might as well get your tuition money’s worth!