Feeling bored in lectures is a high probability at uni. No matter where you go, or what you study, it is likely that you will encounter at least one per semester. From lecturers who are hard to hear sometimes, to those who don’t post the slides and even worse, the lecturers that literally talk for two hours straight in a dull monotone, it can get pretty tough staying engaged and comprehending the content properly. Here are my tips to deal with these irritating PhD holders.
1. Sit at the front and don’t talk to friends
The first thing you can do is to isolate yourself from your friends and sit towards the front section of the theatre. While this may certainly decrease your quality of life, it will hugely impact upon your academic performance. You will be significantly less distracted and thus will spend a larger amount of the lecture time listening rather than talking. Furthermore, sitting close to the lecturer will force you to look at them and show you are concentrating.
2. Read the slides before the lecture
Reading the slides before the lecture is the perfect way to grasp and understanding of the content you are supposed to be learning in the lecture. Try to allow 20-30 minutes prior to the lecture and go through the slides highlighting what you feel is most important, and making notes on anything you don’t understand. You will begin to familiarise yourself with the content so that once you attend the lecture you have a better understanding and are more likely to engage with the lecturer. You will feel good about yourself because you’ll already be a step ahead.
3. Stay refreshed
For maximum alertness, don’t attend a lecture already tired, because a boring lecture will only make your energy decrease. Have a good, full 8-hour night of sleep before attending a lecture you know might not be as interesting as you hoped. Make sure you’ve eaten before and bring a huge bottle of water because staying full and hydrated makes a world of difference. Even try splashing water on your face before a lecture, and maybe bringing a good cup of coffee so you’re as alert as possible.
4. Talk to the lecturer about it
If the tips above have still left you daydreaming of doughnuts in all your lecturers, it’s time to suck it up and talk to the lecturer. While it may feel a bit rude, many lecturers are open to constructive criticism and would love to hear some feedback. Wait until the end of the lecture (or if you’re not confident enough send an email), and tell the lecturer that for reason X you are struggling to cope with the lecture material. You might like to word it like this:
“Hi Sir, I am really enjoying your subject however I find It difficult to keep up with how fast you teach”
This will open up the issue for discussion and could potentially make a big difference to your learning. Just remember to always word it in a polite way and make sure they feel as though you are trying to help them professionally.
Let’s be realistic, not many lecturers are as interesting as Scott Shaner from ARTS1090. So make sure that you follow these tips and don’t let any lecturer get in the way of your much deserved HD.