Back in the day (literally just a few months ago), when I was in high school I would have eight hours of lectures a day, with five hours of class straight with no breaks. Today, taking three-hour lectures are often avoided. This semester I have two three hour lectures a week, one of them from 6 pm to 9 pm and another from 10 am to 1 pm. At first, I found it difficult to concentrate during these lectures. I would get distracted with anything and everything. Halfway through the semester and I now feel confident enough to consider myself a pro when it comes to long lectures. It is pretty difficult to concentrate for that long: I get hungry, I get tired, I get cold and I get distracted. Here is how I survive my three-hour lectures:
Bring Food: Three hours is a long time to go without snacking, especially when your lecture spans over your dinner time (6 pm to 9 pm). Being hungry makes it extra hard for me to concentrate, I always bring some fruit or a granola bar to give me extra energy between lecture breaks.
Stay Warm: I get cold very easily, and during my three-hour lectures I always end up getting very cold. I like to stay warm by bringing a thermos with my favorite caffeinated beverage (usually tea), it works to keep my hands warm and also give me extra energy.
Take Hand-Written Notes: At the start of the year I brought my laptop to every class. I still take my laptop to most of my classes but not my three-hour lectures because I end up getting distracted with other work. When it comes to long lectures I find that using pen and paper works best for me. Laptops are great for taking notes, however I find that actually writing things down helps me better understand the material and actually learn it. I often find myself rewriting my laptop notes from other classes onto paper, just to review. After all, there will be a final exam at the end of the semester so I rather not get distracted on Pinterest learning how to bake.
Be Prepared: Preparing myself for long lectures is very important. The required readings for the class each week is often more than a class that meets more frequently. Overall, keeping my goal in mind gets me through my lectures: do as well as I possibly can. It is very important to stay motivated and dedicated.