How to Make the Most Boring Courses Interesting

Vector illustration of a cartoon girl studying with a bored expression, next to a floating thought balloon.

Getting interested in a not-so-interesting subject is not an easy task. For the classes that you might find to be a bore, there can be several factors that make learning a particular topic or subject a drag. Pre-med students usually just do what they have to do and learn the subject because that’s just want has to be done. They’ll learn what they need to know, but how much are they remembering what they learned after the fact? Every pre-med knows that their classes and the information they’re learning is important, but there’s something even more important to a student’s success, and that is their learning experience. Think about it: if school was just about memorizing facts, students would just have to get really good at their techniques for retaining information. One thing you could do it make sure your notes are working for you. Take a look at your notes and make sure they align with how you best take in the information you are being taught. What does the look and feel of your notes say about your learning style? Once you get a better understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t, you’ll be in a much better place to create a learning experience that will work towards your strengths.

Your next train of thought should focus on how you can make a personal connection to what you are learning. And this can actually be the fun part – figuring out what connection may exist between the painfully dry topic and your likes – how fun is that? What it comes down to is that you will remember things that you can relate to or enjoy taking in. This means that you need to connect with the topic or content being taught. It helps if you think of the topic or subject as puzzles where you’re trying to find where you fit in, instead of an isolated body of knowledge being taught by your teacher.

Let’s also not forget about your willingness to be curious and passionate. One of the easiest ways to increase your interest about something is to be interested. “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” said Walt Disney. And if physics is not your thing – find a way or reason to be passionate about it – seriously. It might sound funny trying to figure our and navigate building a passion for something you have no interest in or find to be boring, but if you delve more deeply into a subject, you may discover a “hook” that helps you make a connection to keep your interest. As a pre-medical student who has their eyes set on getting into medical school, it may go without saying but, it helps if you actually care about learning. If you’re not interested in a subject and you find it to be boring, you may also begin to care less and less about the subject overall.