How to Stay Focused in Class
How to Stay Focused in Class (Photo: CC BY topgold)

As a college student you have to juggle many responsibilities in addition to college courses.

Part-time jobs, social activities, on-campus clubs and college events can eat up a lot of your time and energy. Because of this, it's easy to become tired and distracted in the classroom, making it hard to stay alert and focused in your classes.

Here are a few tips that can help you stay focused in class.

Sit in the Front

One of the best ways to stay focused is to grab a seat in the front of the classroom. You will be able to see better and hear better as well. This will help you stay alert, doodle less, and actually pay attention to the professor and his or her lecture.


Coffee is a popular drink among college students. Grab a cup of coffee on your way to class and have it handy to sip while taking notes and listening to the lecture. For most people, caffeine is a pick me up. If you do not drink coffee, then try a soda or some other caffeinated beverage. Some students also drink high-powered energy drinks such as Red Bull, however these should be consumed in moderation as they may have health risks if more than the recommended amount is consumed.

Get Your Rest

It's going to be hard to stay awake and be alert in class if you come home at 2am because you were out partying or are up late studying. Try your best to get an average of seven hours of sleep at night. Getting proper sleep is good for your physical and mental health, especially as you are learning all this new college material and dealing with the stresses of college life.

Read: How much should college students sleep?


Try to keep your body from becoming hungry. Make sure you eat, even if it's a quick snack. This will prevent you from thinking about food when you should be listening to your professor. If you consume a healthy college diet, you will also have natural energy to help keep you going. Foods such as eggs, peanut butter and fish are rich in protein, which are a natural energy booster.

Ask Questions in Class

Be sure to do assigned homework and complete the assigned readings.

Prepare a list of questions that you may want to ask your professor during the lecture. This will help keep you alert as you listen to the lecture, as you will be reinforcing the material that you read the night before. Even if you do not ask questions, try to interact with the professor in other ways such as eye contact or answering questions he may pose.

It is extremely important to pay attention to the lectures in your classes. Some professors base quizzes and tests simply off of their lecture. If you don't pay attention, you won't have the answers.

If you feel yourself about to drift off or start daydreaming, try to snap back by taking a sip of a drink that you brought to class. Other things you could try are chewing gum or incorporating a daily multivitamin into your diet.