How to Survive Night Class - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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Campus Life
March 16, 2016

How to Survive Night Class

As someone who identifies as a night owl (and proudly so), I was excited when I realized that I had the option to take night classes during my time in college. I hastily signed up for my first one during freshman year: BIB 112, or Introduction to the Old Testament. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30 p.m., I settled in for my first lecture.

And it was rough!

Three hours is a long time to sit in the same chair and listen to someone speak, even if you enjoy the class topic. You start to learn the ins and outs of that classroom. You memorize the doodles on the back of chairs. And despite your best efforts, you (at some point) lose focus.

Now, as a graduating senior, I’ve had at least one night class every semester—not by my own choosing, but because of scheduling conflicts and guest speakers and available slots. The semesters where I had two night classes were some of the longest. Over the years, I’ve learned how to survive. It can be narrowed down to four simple steps.

  1. Be prepared. Make sure you’ve done your reading and homework before the class begins. Often times, a large portion of night classes consists of discussions. If you’ve prepared, you’ll have something to say. And when you have something to say, you’re not only learning more, but you’ll also realize that time passes faster when you have something to contribute to the class!
  2. Bring a snack. Most professors don’t mind if you have food in class, especially if it’s just a small snack. When I start lagging during a night lecture, I reach for honey roasted peanuts to nibble on! It keeps the hunger at bay and gives me something to do with my hands, since I tend to be a fidgety person.
  3. Take notes. It would be a lie to tell you that I never get bored in class. Taking notes is helpful for a lot of reasons: it gives you something to study before tests, they often fill in the blanks that textbooks have left, and they keep your brain occupied during a three-hour night class. Taking notes helps pass the time, and it’ll help you when that midterm rolls around!
  4. Get to know the professor. It’s so much easier to have a night class with a professor you know and are comfortable with. It’s easy to get to know professors at Geneva College because of our small class sizes! Although academics are something that should be taken seriously, it really does ease the pain of a long night lecture when you can crack a joke with a professor.

Sleeping Owl

The hardest part of night classes is the length; they’re typically once a week for three to four hours. Even as a night owl, it’s hard to pay attention to anything for that length of time! Everyone will get through night class a little differently. The key is to bring something that will help you focus, not keep you entertained! You’re there to learn, after all.

–Mikayla Covington ‘16


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