Doodling in class is more beneficial than distracting to students


A student doodles an image of mountain landscape during passing period. (ETHAN DEWRI / Ethic Photo)

Doodling: that thing you do when you are bored in class and longing for anything to pass the time, so you grab your pen and aimlessly draw on the nearest scrap of paper. 

However, aimless drawing is not all that doodling entails. According to recent studies, doodling encourages improved memory, better concentration, stress relief and enhanced creativity. 

In class, while your teacher is lecturing, doodling can actually help you recall the information better later. While you probably start doodling with the intention to ease your boredom, it ultimately provides a way to maintain focus during a lecture.

Redlands East Valley sophomore Alicia Gullon said, “I usually doodle when I am bored…doodling alleviates boredom I guess. It also helps to keep you moving so you don’t fall asleep in class.”

According to Harvard Health Publishing, a study was conducted in 2009 by psychologist Jackie Andrade to test the relationship between doodling and memory retention. Andrade had 40 people listen to a two-and-a-half-minute rambling voicemail in which half of the group doodled and the other half did not. In the end, the group that doodled was able to better recollect the details of the voicemail and overall “recalled 29 percent more information.” 

In addition to improved memory retention, doodling can also provide stress relief for many. A person who doodles their emotions can help relieve the negative stress in their life. According to Vox, “the repetition and rhythmic motions of sketching” triggers a relaxation reply. 

REV freshman Kelly Welch said, “I doodle because it’s a quick way to practice drawing, and sometimes I just do it impulsively. Mostly I draw eyes on my hand and faces on paper. Doodling is really helpful in taking away tension and stress from school too.”

Instead of a written journal, doodling can serve as a journal in drawing form. The various drawn expressions can indicate the artist’s emotions or illustrate their surroundings at the time that they doodled. People can doodle what they did that day or simply how they felt; this could appear more visually artistic and appealing than if they had written their feelings down.

Lastly, doodling can be an outlet for creativity. Even if you are doodling something aimlessly, you are still using your brain to come up with drawings that overall broaden your creativity and imagination. 

“When you doodle, you are setting the base to something greater. Your skills develop and your mind can reach to the ends of the world to create something small, yet something that you’re proud of,” said REV sophomore Jo-Ann Lumintang.

Lumintang adds, “I doodle to help me practice what I love. It gives me time to process things and let my mind loose, without any repercussions. Personally, I love to doodle magic items or people. Something small yet memorable.” 

It is time we eliminate the idea that doodling is a distraction and praise it for its many benefits. Doodling can be much more than a few scribbles on a piece of paper; the next time you happen to be doodling, just know that you are broadening your mind.

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