How to Combat Distractions in College may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page.


Whoever said that high school was the best four years of your life never went college. College is amazing. You get to move out of your parents’ house, stay up late, and have the freedom to do whatever you want.

With all the fun and exciting things to do in college, sometimes it can be hard to remember that you’re actually there to attend classes, do homework, and take tests. College can be distracting with tailgates, parties, and friends, but there are some ways you can combat the distractions both in class and while you do homework.

In class

  • Sit in the front

Sitting in the front row of the class can help you focus. Knowing that you are right in your professor’s line of sight helps you resist pulling out your phone to text or scroll down Instagram.

Having a front-row seat also gives you the best view of the whiteboard so you can easily take notes without having to peer around the back of someone’s head.

  • Keep your laptop and phone in your backpack

If you have a hard time taking notes on your computer and get easily distracted by other open tabs on your browser, try taking notes the old fashioned way.

Putting your laptop away can give you extra motivation to pay closer attention to the teacher while you write your notes in a notebook.

  • Eat before class

If you get hangry often, pack a few granola bars in your backpack or keep some trail mix with you to snack on in between classes. Having a light, healthy snack before class helps your brain focus on the lecture instead of lunch. This also means you shouldn’t skip meals.

  • Have a bottle of water with you

Staying hydrated during class keeps your brain awake and ready to receive new information. Keeping a bottle of water with you helps relieve your thirst without you having to leave the classroom to visit the water fountain.

  • Get plenty of sleep

This should be a no-brainer. The more sleep you get at home, the less likely you are to drift off in class. Even if you don’t fall asleep, you are more likely to zone out and miss parts of the lecture if you aren’t getting enough rest.

  • Take the stairs

If you are prone to getting the jitters during class, be sure to move around before it starts. Even if all your classes are in the same building, take a couple of minutes to walk around, visit the restroom, and stretch. Taking the stairs can also be a good way to get your blood pumping and help energize you.

Doing homework

  • Find your own space

Some people like to study in their apartment. Complexes like Sunrise Village Apartments have plush couches, a bar table, and a desk to study at. Sometimes apartments can be too rowdy to study at, so finding a place on campus or at a coffee shop might be a better solution for you.

  • Schedule time for homework

Finding a time to do your homework helps you make it a part of your permanent routine. Whether you work on assignments right after class, before work, or you save your big projects for the weekend, having a set time to work can help you stay focused.

  • Make a to-do list

Making a to-do list with color-coded due dates can help you visualize what you need to do and when. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of assignments professors give you, but writing them down can help them seem more manageable.

  • Turn off your notifications

If your biggest distraction is your phone, but you don’t want to hide it for a few hours while you study, at least turn off your notifications. Not seeing the endless pop-ups from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok can help you concentrate a little longer.

Reward yourself

Studying is tough, tests are hard, and classes can be boring, so make sure you reward yourself with a few minutes of mindless scrolling on your phone, a couple of hours with friends, or a candy bar.

The biggest reward is your weekends. If you can manage to do your homework and stay ahead of assignments and projects during the week, it will give you more time to enjoy on the weekends. It’s fall! Go pick some pumpkins or visit a haunted house—you earned it.

How to Control Your Emotions Better

Emotions can be powerful things, and sometimes, overwhelming. They overtake us and take us by surprise. Think about it: when’s the last time you...