Sleepy Head

9 Sep

Freshman year is often when you take most of your general education courses. For me, it meant taking a history class. I’ve always loved history in high school, so I thought, why not? Turns out, my history class was, for the most part, very boring. I liked hearing about most topics in class, but with other school assignments and not getting much sleep at times, I had a difficult time staying awake. I had never had a problem like this in high school, so I didn’t know how to handle it.

First, I tried handwriting notes so that I could be physically engaged in class. Many people prefer taking notes on their laptops, but I find that I retain more information when I hand write things. This worked for about a week until I caught myself falling asleep again. So, I moved on to drawing pictures in class. I had heard from several people that drawing pictures that correlate to the lecture can help you retain more information. I got to class and started drawing as soon as my professor started the lecture. I really liked this technique, but turns out I am a horrible artist! When I looked back at my notes, I could hardly understand most pictures. Yikes! This went on for about half the semester. I was miserable, I could not keep awake during class or pay attention to what my professor was saying.

One day, I went to another one of my classes with a friend and she started having the same problem I was having in my history class. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a bag of Jolly Ranchers. At first, I thought it was a little funny but then she told me that it helped her stay awake during class. I thought I’d give that a try. After that class, I went to Walmart and bought a bag of Jolly Ranchers and put a handful in my backpack the next day. The next time I had my history class, I pulled out some Jolly Ranchers and set them on my desk before the lecture started. When I started feeling tired, I ate a piece of candy and it made me feel so much better. I didn’t feel tired, and I even felt like I paid more attention during class.

General education courses are meant for expanding your knowledge on other things beyond your major. But in my opinion, I think they do even more than that. They are meant to meet different people and help a student find what works for them in regards to studying, or in my case, staying awake. The other half of my semester went on so much better because I felt more engaged in class. What works out for some people may not work out for yourself, so it’s important to keep trying new things. Having an open mind to trying new techniques, not giving up, and positivity definitely helped me achieve success during my history class. That reminds me, I need to restock my supply of Jolly Ranchers!


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