How to Be Successful in a Class You Really Dislike

How to Be Successful in a Class You Really Dislike

I have a friend who took Biology three times. Yes, three times. He hated the class, so he didn’t complete the work or study. And failed it twice. So, he took a class he disliked multiple times. Ugh. I can’t imagine anything worse!

We all have a class that we dislike. Maybe you’re don’t like reading or math makes you sweat. Or you find history really boring. (That was really hard for this history teacher to type.) But just because you don’t like the course, doesn’t mean that it has to be your worst grade.

You cannot only finish the class, but do it in style! Grab your planner; a little planning up front will make that hated class more manageable.

How to Be Successful in a Class You Really Dislike

class you dislike

Tie the Course to Long-Term Goals

What are your long-term goals? They might include getting into college or graduate school. Maybe you need the class to earn a certification or complete a degree program. Either way, think about how the course will help you meet those goals. Write it down and stick it on your desk for when you just don’t want to work.

This ultimately was my motivation to get through chemistry in high school. I needed chemistry to reach several long-term goals: taking higher-level science classes and getting into college. Failing chemistry would put those goals in jeopardy. When I was most in need of motivation, I focused on those goals.

Make a schedule (and stick to it)

Schedule a time to complete work for the course and write it down in your planner. I recommend doing it BEFORE you complete other work. If you’re like me, it’s waaaaay easier to put the class off when you’re tired.

Then actually get the work done during the scheduled time. That might mean setting reminders on your phone or rewarding yourself. (See below)

Study in a Group

You don’t have to suffer alone, friend. A study group will help you fill in knowledge gaps and provide some moral support. If you’re really lucky, other members of the group will love the course. Their motivation will help get you through the class.

Just Get Started

Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part. Grab a timer and set it for 10 minutes. Then just start working. When the timer is up, you have options. If it’s just not working for you, you can stop and move on to something else. If you can keep working though, do it!

Knowing that you don’t have to keep working past 10 minutes can push you past that barrier. I use this all the time for the less than exciting things I have to do. At the end of 10 minutes, I’m almost always able to keep working.

Reward Yourself

We respond so well to rewards. Set up rewards (ahead of time) for completing homework, studying for a test, or acing that unit test. Just keep the reward in proportion to the accomplishment. I’ve found that food, screen time, and naps make effective rewards. Think about how you like to spend your free time and turn that time into a reward.

Set Yourself Up for Success

When signing up for next year’s courses, keep in mind your likes and dislikes. Take the challenging courses (honors, AP, or IB) in the subjects you like. If you can, take standard-level courses for the subjects you don’t love as much. Studying for a really difficult class won’t be so painful if you at least like the subject.

Not going to lie – getting through a class you dislike can be a slog. But with some planning and positive intentions, you can rock that course. And never have to take it again!

How do you work successfully in a class you dislike? Let me know in the comments!

Related Posts: How to Actually Reach Your Academic Goals, 6 Ways to Beat Procrastination for Good, How to Be Productive When You Just Don’t Want To

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