Morning classes: cut into sleep time. Afternoon classes: food coma from lunch. Night classes: cut into sleep time.
Basically, there’s no good time for class. It’s inevitable; you are going to be tired. As college students, insufficient sleep is part of the job description. Here are 10 ways to help you from being “that guy” (or girl) who’s asleep during lecture.
1. Take notes
If you’re using your brain to concentrate on what the professor is saying and your hand to take the notes, maybe this combo act will be enough to keep you awake. This method is actually doubly beneficial. Not only are you not sleeping, you’re also paying way more attention. What a deal.
Disclaimer: This is not a guarantee. Sometimes note taking is ineffective and you’re left with half completed sentences in your notebook.
Drink it. Lots of it. Before class, during class, after class. Try something seasonal to mix things up like a pumpkin spice latte from Hillside.
If you don’t like coffee, try a Diet Coke or other caffeinated beverage.
Pickable, bite sized food works best, like M&Ms or for the health conscious among us, grapes. Every time you feel yourself drifting, pop another one in your mouth.
4. Sit in the front row
C’mon now. Sleeping in the back of the room is one thing. But no one wants to be the one catching some Zs right in front of the professor and on display for the entire class. Maybe a spot front and center will motivate you to stay awake, or maybe not…
5. Make up games to play
Like…for every 5 lines of notes you take, you get to close your eyes for 3 seconds (but JUST 3 seconds). Or, every time the teacher says “um” you get a point. Yes, these points are a la “Who’s Line Is It Anyways” where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. Regardless! You don’t want to fall asleep and lose to this devil in professor form who is currently keeping your from getting some shut eye, do you? I didn’t think so.
6. Jumping jacks
Do them every time you feel yourself drifting. This may not go over too well, but just explain that it is necessary for you to stay awake. You can even blame me.
7. Don’t rest your head on your hands/desk
Seriously people. This is just asking for trouble.
8. Sit in an uncomfortable position
Let’s take #7 a little further. Not only should you NOT rest your head, you can also take it to new levels and purposefully sit in a terribly uncomfortable position. You know those times when you’re legs fall asleep during class? Or you get a huge dent in your leg from the desk? I’m talking those.
9. Get more sleep
Actually though. Why are you so tired? Sure, sure, I know I said that all college students are tired, but I was just trying to make you feel better. Go to bed earlier. What could you possibly be doing so late at night? Homework? Forget it, unimportant. Facebook stalking? What do you think class time is for…
Disclaimer: I am being sarcastic.
10. Look at your transcript
Are your grades so far down the alphabet that a preschooler has a hard time getting that far? That should be motivation enough to stay awake in class.
So maybe all of these things aren’t a guarantee to stay awake during those god awful 9 am lectures, but trying them can’t hurt. I don’t know about you, but I’m off to Hillside for an iced coffee with an extra shot. Good luck!