Editorial: Removing classroom distractions to focus on success

Photo by Will Haung

Each year we go into the fall semester thinking “this year will be different.”

You pull out your notebook, turn the Wi-Fi off on your computer and start listening to your professor preach about research methods and Plato’s theory of forms.

You probably already know where this is going.

Before you know it, you’ve watched four Tasty videos on slow cooker tacos and made plans with the squad for a fun night out at Brixton.

Although that same Tasty video — which you’ve already watched six times this past week — is so interesting, what you’re doing in class is inhibiting others from doing what you’ve failed to accomplish, paying attention and being a good student.

Trust me though, I’m definitely not perfect either; but it has been a learning curve to say the least.

I’ve read my fair share of Narcity articles about the best dim-sum hot spots in Toronto, but I’ve learned the hard way entering my fourth year of university.

I noticed that my marks were significantly lower in classes where I used my laptop to take notes compared to the classes where I wasn’t allowed to bring technology.

I also noticed that when I was doing a Buzzfeed quiz to determine which Disney princess I am — I am Ariel, by the way — that I was distracting my friends and peers.

When you use technology outside the realm of taking notes you are distracting your peers around you, which ultimately hurts their learning experience, too.

When you are on your computer and you receive a text, you are almost programmed by reflex to want to answer and get rid of that annoying red ‘one’ chilling on the dashboard.

However, you are not only not learning about things that can enhance your career and make you a better academic, you’re also wasting your time and your money too for that matter.

There is no point in going in to debt with school loans if you are just going to watch YouTube clips on your phone; you can do that at home, without even having to pay tuition.

But really, why do something if you aren’t giving 100 per cent, anyways?

It is time that, as university students — or as people over the age of 18 for that matter — that you take responsibility of your learning.

If you sign up for a class, whether you choose it or not, you should make a commitment to put forth your best effort and learn something you didn’t know beforehand.

It’s your degree, why not get the most out of your time at university to better yourself as an individual, critical thinker?

The topics and discussions in university classrooms have allowed me to explore things I never even thought I would learn about.

It took putting down my phone to make me realize that the things we’re doing in classrooms are worthwhile and worth listening to.

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