What to do in the awkward hour between classes

photo of the UC Berkeley campus library
Ruby Sapia /File

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The biggest waste of time during my first few months here has been the awkward one-hour gap in between my classes. Sixty minutes is too long to grab a snack, but not enough to walk back to my dorm, go to the library or try to get some meaningful work done — in fact, the few times that I tried going to the library, I found myself so concerned about the limited time I had, I could hardly focus at all! Yet, as time went on, I began to discover things to do in between classes, and today, I can proudly say that you will no longer find me sitting on Memorial Glade watching YouTube in the middle of the day. 

Do the shortest homework 

I like to leave my shorter class readings aside for precisely this awkward hour in between classes. They don’t require too much effort, but I know it’s something I have to get done.

Have a meal 

This might be an obvious one, but try to rearrange your eating schedule so that you’re making the most of the time in between classes. And anyway, you don’t want to be that person whose stomach is grumbling throughout class. 

Plan the week 

Weekly planning is super important to ensure that you’re staying on top of all your deadlines, while also finding time to do some of the creative things you like most. I love planning, and I know that without it, I’d be missing a lot of events, meetings and assignments. 

Call your friends and family back home

I always mean to stay connected with all of my family and friends back home but never seem to find the time. These gaps provide the perfect opportunity for me to finally catch up with the relatives I’d promised to call a few weeks ago. 

Read a book 

When was the last time you read a book, not for a class, but for pleasure? Why not start picking away at your to-be-read and soak up some vitamin D on the Glade?


You know those annoying little tasks that you’ve had at the bottom of your to-do list for weeks, but you never seem to get around to them? Maybe you need to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy or you’ve got to call your mobile provider to ask about your package. Stop putting those little things off — you’ll feel much happier after crossing them off of your list.

Review the class you just left 

If you just spent the last hour scribbling down notes during your lecture, it’s quite possible that you weren’t able to fully absorb all the information. It may help to spend a little time rereading the notes after class and making sure they’re comprehensible and truly reinforce the material. 

Review notes for the class you’re about to go to 

To avoid any confusion during your lecture (which is never fun), read up on your notes as a quick reminder before class. Familiarizing yourself with the lecture material in advance means that you know about what’s going to be discussed, and you can spend the lecture focusing on the important parts. 

Go for a walk 

Why not get your daily steps in while also exploring UC Berkeley’s beautiful campus? Who knows, you might discover your new favorite study spot.

Talk to your professor 

Maybe you have some questions after class, or, if you’re confused about a different class, you could try seeing if office hours align with your hour off. It’s about time we finally start making use of a valuable resource available to us.

The next time you find yourself at a loss for how to spend that 30-60 minute break, try some of these activities out.

Contact Salma Sarkis at [email protected].