How To Stay Awake in Class

How To Stay Awake in Class

by Scott BrinkmeyerStaff Writer

If you have never been close to falling asleep in class, this can mean only one thing: that you do not go to class. It happens. It is inevitable that you will be tired, but you can still fight the urge to wad up notebook paper just to have a pillow.

Personally, I’m a list guy. The only way I can actually stay awake is to keep my mind active. I realize the purpose of a class is to stimulate the mind, but to say that academic discussion is constantly engaging is wishful thinking at best. I will make a list of as many states, capitols, countries, or presidents that I can think of. These specific categories make me feel like it is still an educational pursuit while I am purposefully avoiding the pursuit of my education.

Even outside the realm of specifically-nerdy lists, this approach is still applicable. Let’s consider the most common cause of being tired in class. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s not because of a late night studying. It’s never as hard to stay up in a class as the morning after a big night out.

There are plenty of lists that could be compiled from your best attempts at reflection on a night at The Zoo. The most obvious list is of all the different drinks you had or bars you frequented. If you had a real doozey of a night, maybe you could talk about all the fast-food restaurants you snuck beer into.

If you complete this list with assumedly terrible handwriting in the first five minutes, there are more lists ahead of you. What about all the people you irreversibly insulted? Maybe you told everyone how much you loved them the night before. If nothing else, you’ve got your list of apologies all ready for your first AA meeting.

Of course, when it comes to waking up, there is nothing like a little pain. Try chewing on the end of your pen and seeing how far you can jam it in to the palm of your hand or back of your knee. Maybe a paper cut every thirty seconds would do the job. This is not to condone self-harm, but desperate times do call for desperate measures.

A similar game might be to see how long you can hold your breath. The great benefit of this game is that if you hold your breath for 15 minutes and pass out, you still didn’t fall asleep, you’re just temporarily unconscious.

My last option is caricatures of classmates. At the very least, you can draw stick figures of other people distinguishable only by crude representations of the clothes they’re wearing. Of course, as with any good caricature, there must be “stink lines.” There should be stink lines in Spades. These stink lines will make you laugh. Making you laugh will help keep you awake. Mission accomplished. You could probably skip the lists, the pain and breath-holding and go straight for the stink lines, but you’ve got a lot of time to kill.