Throughout school, we’re constantly told to pay attention to our teachers, meaning we must sit up straight, eyes forward, without doing anything else except taking notes. Sleeping, talking and doodling are all actions that could garner a strict reprimand. While sleeping and talking are sure signs of not paying attention, and likely failure, doodling is something that may actually be more beneficial than we think.

Personally, from middle school until now, I have always doodled while my teachers droned on and on. The margins of my notes are filled with random patterns, song lyrics, flowers, whatever my mind was flowing to that day. In seventh grade, I unfortunately had a teacher that actually made us rewrite our notes if we so much as drew a smiley face on the sides of our paper. It took all my power not to doodle during her lectures, and I instead had to focus on not falling asleep.

Doodling is not a sign of slacking or losing focus. I received relatively good grades in all my classes despite my need to fill the margins. Drawing random scribbles is actually a way of staying awake and paying attention. Instead of allowing your brain to wander and simply be bored, doodling gives you something to do that keeps your eyes wide open. Whenever you’re tempted to nod off in class, simply pick up your pen or pencil and start drawing whatever your heart desires.

Being awake means you can actually hear the information your teacher is providing you with, and doodling can actually help you improve your memory as well. A study shows that those who doodle have a higher chance of remembering content than those who don’t doodle, so doodling in class may actually help bring up your grade. If you really have a hard time memorizing things, especially during a lecture, drawing some flowers or shapes alongside your notes may be worth a shot.

Doodling is a great way to stay awake and help you memorize things, as well as fuel your creativity. You do not have to be an amazing artist or have expensive pens to benefit from doodling. After all, the doodles are for you, not for an art museum. Doodling may even help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions of receiving better grades in school. While some may think they’re being rude by drawing during the teacher’s lecture, I think it would be much more offensive if you fell asleep while they were talking. In fact, your doodles don’t have to be something random or unrelated to the lecture. You can add little drawings that embellish your notes, such as pictures of the words your Spanish vocabulary translates to, or characters from The Scarlet Letter. Doodling gives you endless possibilities.

Photo: Running Commentary 

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