How to stay focused


photo by Valerie Cook

by Karrigan True, Photographer

Dear True, I need the truth…

“How do I stay focused in class and not wander off?”


Distracted student



Dear distracted student, here is the truth…

Staying focused in class can be a challenge. It’s hard to learn and not get distracted especially when the teacher is boring or the students are a distraction. Personally, I get distracted easily. It’s not good because later on, I don’t understand how to do my homework or what to do on tests.

Since I am also an easily distracted student, there are some tips I’ve learned that may help you. Some of them might sound silly but they do work for me.

The first piece of advice I can give you is to sit in one of the front seats in the class. You hear teachers say this a lot, but it genuinely does help. When you’re in the front, you aren’t so distracted by what everyone else does.

Lessons can uninterest you sometimes. A good way to keep your attention is to relate what you learn to a subject you care about. For example, if you’re in a math class you could relate the lessons to architecture if it interests you. Just try to apply what you learn to your daily life.

I’ve picked up some little habits I do to keep myself on task. Sometimes I just twiddle my thumbs or kind of shake my pencil in my hand. I know it sounds like it would do the reverse effect, but for me personally, it helps. When I do this, I find myself not so focused on everyone else around me or my thoughts.

When I get bored in a class, I start to think about the most ridiculous topics. I feel like no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to find a way to stop this. I guess all I can really say to help with is just try to stay focused on what the teacher says or if you take notes, keep reading over them. This will help you stay on the subject and memorize the information.

Thanks for writing!

-Karrigan True