As the first few weeks of the semester dwindle down, it seems like the attention span of many students is doing the same. The first week or so of the semester students seem to pay attention, take notes and listen to what their professors say, but what I've noticed in my time at Seton Hall is that it does not tend to last.
Now, with the third week of the semester coming to an end, it seems like more and more laptops are making their way out during lecture, like more texting is going on underneath desks and more students are using class time as a substitute nap time.
Many people figure that they can use their class time as they please, but if you use every class as an opportunity to beat your current high score in Tetris, you should not wonder at the the end of the semester why you didn't get the "A" you would have liked.
As a college student, everyone has the temptation to use your school-issued laptop for a distraction from actual school work. But next time you consider pulling out your laptop during class, consider this: do you really want to pay tens of thousands of dollars a year to Facebook stalk and then have to cram for your finals? Wouldn't you rather pay for the education you decided to come to college to get in the first place?
You also need to remember that professors notice when something fishy is going on. If you sit in class, giggling over an instant message when the professor is talking about World War II, they're going to realize; if you are sending a text message under your desk, a professor isn't just going to think you find your lap especially interesting that day. In the end, even if they never say anything, your class participation grade may reflect it.
Close that computer, save that text message for later and listen. You may be surprised to find that your professor's lecture may not be as boring as you expected. You might actually find it interesting.
Alyana Alfaro is a junior journalism major from Randolph, NJ. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org