I usually need a small physical distraction or fidget to allow me to keep my mind on a lecture or the assignment in front of me. But without a good outlet for my extra energy, I’ve been known to spin wildly in my chair, chew a pen until it explodes or peel all the foil off a gum wrapper. Obviously, none of these were very effective strategies and only make my peers and teachers want to kill me. So here is how I fidget in class without anyone noticing (hint: no fidget spinners involved.)
- Silly putty
I swear by it. It may sound silly (pun intended) but this can be such a big help. I’ve kept a small jar in my backpack for years, so any time I’m starting to get distracted I can pull it out to help expel my extra energy. You never run out of ways to play with it, it’s fun and you can do it under your desk where no one can see. One big tip – it’s easy to buy on Amazon, but try not to buy the silly putty in the egg container, since that can make a mess. Mine has a twist top, which ensures nothing sticky ever leaks out.
2. A good, old-fashioned pen
It’s simple, but tried and true – I can’t help but click a pen when it’s in my hand or pull the cap on and off. But there’s a key to this: if you get a pen that clicks audibly, you will drive everyone around you crazy. So find either a click pen that is fairly quiet or a pen with a cap that clicks on subtly. I especially love Staedtler pens and pulling the cap on and off involves my whole hand, which makes the quiet click ever more satisfying.
Those of you who wear rings may already twirl them around on your finger without thinking about it. But this can be another great way to casually occupy your hands. I particularly enjoy fidgeting with rings that have a little texture, like this dainty Christina Kober one. If you really love this method, you can also find rings specifically designed for spinning around your finger or stack a few slimmer ones.
4. Bubble gum
This is not the best fidget, but if you’re in a bind, it’s a good backup. The chewing itself can be helpful, but I particularly like bubble gum because it’s more fun and gives another chance to subtly expend energy while staying under the radar.
What are some ways you fidget in class? Comment below!