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How to survive class without a laptop

College courses are very different from high school courses. Differences range from bigger class sizes to less tests. One big change for me was being able to use my laptop in class.

My high school actually loaned iPads to students during my junior and senior year and some teachers tried to incorporate new lessons on the technology but most told students to put them away during class time. However, most schools now are integrating technology into their learning  these days.

During my fall semester I was able to take notes in a big lecture hall on my laptop. I am a fast typer so this was easy for me, however, I found I got distracted easily. I would find myself on Facebook, Twitter or even online shopping. It never failed during this period, I would miss some important material from my professor. That was the worst!

My spring semester was very different. I was taking English, Spanish, statistics, journalism and history. In my English class, the professor told us we would not need our laptops because it was a discussion-based class. In Spanish, I used my textbook. I can’t take math notes on a computer so of course in statistics I didn’t use it and in journalism and history, both of my professors did not allow phones or laptops. We were always told to put them away.

A whole semester without a laptop and to be honest I actually enjoyed it and here’s why:

I was forced to pay attention. Handwriting my notes actually helped me listen better and interpret better. Often while typing notes on a computer, one will just type verbatim what the professor is saying. When writing, I found myself understanding what my professor was saying better and able to comprehend the topic better.

I was able to have tangible notes. On a computer, you can print out notes but when you write something I feel you remember it so much better. Studies have even proved that fact.

I am a kinesthetic/visual learner so having my notes in front of me when studying and being able to mark on them really helped me.

I’m not saying that while handwriting notes I was able to catch 100% of what the professor was saying and not daydream at all because I would still get lost but I felt that I was grasping the notes, lectures, etc. better than from reading off a laptop.

This is just my experience so far with taking notes and I think I am going to try it for another semester as well.

Below, I filmed a short video on what I did do to stay organized with all of my handwritten notes. This system really worked well for me so I thought I would share it to maybe help someone else. Let me know what you think! What is your preference when taking notes?


Video notes:
– I said 2 ring binder… What I meant to say was 2 inch, 3 ring binder:)
– This is the website I printed my monogram cover off of. Right now, I couldn’t get the monogram printer to load but take a look around the website for some cute free printable!

That’s all for this week. I am thinking about doing a video on organization later on, I also have a post about homesickness in college in the works.

One thought on “How to survive class without a laptop

  1. Michaela, you are the cutest thing ever with all your sheet protectors, tabs, and paper clips! Love your organization tips!

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