How Do Students Keep Themselves Focused?

Students and staff of AHS keep themselves focused when they feel their attention drifting away.

Senior Ditsha Chaudhari tries to stay focused during journalism class.

Molly Harris

Senior Ditsha Chaudhari tries to stay focused during journalism class.

Molly Harris, Staff Writer

Some students just can’t seem to keep their attention on the teacher or their assignment. One student expressed, “It’s really hard for me to focus depending on the day.” Between eight periods of crammed studies and lots of homework after school, it can be a lot of work trying to keep yourself focused on the task at hand.

Part of the issue is an ongoing distraction. Most students can agree that one of the only ways to stay focused on work is to block out the noise. “I can’t stay focused so I need background noise,” said junior Addie Welsh. A recurring theme among students is that most of the time they listen to music to tune out the noise. “I listen to a lot of music,” said Welsh. Another student who expressed agreement is senior Quinn Weil. “I usually just keep my focus by using music,” Weil said. Even a teacher, Bryce Smith expressed that he liked to listen to instrumental music when he was working.

According to Florida National University, “Studies have shown that music produces several positive effects on a human’s body and brain. Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory.”

Even though music is a good and sometimes needed way to focus, sometimes music isn’t an option because the teacher won’t allow it during work time. This is when students turn to more creative ideas. Weil said, “I draw when I do my math homework,” Weil said, “I love to draw!” They expressed that they’re still focused in the class, but this way they can keep their brain busy while sitting and listening to the teacher talk. According to Welsh, sometimes she can’t listen to music so she just has to remind herself not to get on her phone or get distracted.

Teachers have their very own ways of keeping themselves on track. “I use a lot of sticky notes, reminders in my calendar, and give myself 15-minute breaks when my brain is overwhelmed,” art teacher Elizabeth Herrick said. Many teachers’ strategies aren’t very far from students’ picks. Anna Pauley said she likes to, “get up and walk around to take a mental break before returning to what I am trying to focus on.” 

Both students and teachers alike have their similarities and differences, but everyone needs some help or a break sometimes. Keeping your focus can be super difficult, but every student and teacher strive for their very best at AHS. “Just do what is going to help you,” Weil said.

No matter the strategy, keeping yourself focused is super important, so do what you need to do, as long as you’re not disruptive.