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5 Quick Tips: How to Stay Awake During Class

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By Brent Ramirez
Blog Content Contributor

If there’s one word that embodies no sleep or a lack thereof, the word is “college.” From pulling all-nighters to study for exams, to parties that eventually turn into shameful 4 a.m. Taco Bell runs, college is a land where sleep nearly ceases to exist. While a subspecies of the human race known as collegious irresponsibilious, or “college students,” has evolved to run on somewhere from two to four hours of sleep, this eventually takes a toll on said students. Serious sleep deprivation catches up and sooner or later, students in class find themselves seriously fatigued or flat out snoozing. Either way, falling asleep in class is a dilemma, but it’s one that can be prevented. So if you or someone you love is having classroom performance issues, here are some tips on how to stay awake during class.

  1. Bring a beverage. Most people will think of coffee or other caffeinated drinks like soda and energy drinks, but sometimes I find that just plain water really helps. Ice cold water can be refreshing, keeping you awake and alert while helping you avoid all of the sugar and the crash typically associated with caffeinated drinks. If water isn’t
    store
    Don’t forget to utilize the various convenience stores and vending machines scattered around campus for a quick pick-me-up snack or drink. Image by Brent Ramirez.

    your jam and you prefer coffee, soda or an energy drink, then drink it like the fiend you are. Just make sure your professor is okay with students bringing drinks to class. Stay thirsty my friends. 

  2. Munch on something. Some professors are okay with students eating little snacks in class and if that’s the case, bring something to nibble on. Unless you can fall asleep while eating like I can, eating a simple snack like apple slices can help you stay awake. If you do decide to snack in class, just make sure you’re not that guy who’s constantly struggling to open his obnoxiously loud bag of Sun Chips, only to end up violently ripping the thing apart and crunching on the three or four chips that
    sergio
    Creative writing major Sergio Leon likes to eat healthy snacks like apples or celery sticks before class to help him stay alert. Image by Brent Ramirez.

    miraculously stayed in the bag like he hasn’t eaten in years. Some professors don’t allow food in class, so in that case, opt for chewing gum. If the repetitive act of chewing doesn’t keep you awake, then the fear of falling asleep with gum in your mouth and choking to death will!

  3. Get up and go to the bathroom. Leaving for the bathroom provides you with an excuse to walk. Get that blood flowing and walk around outside the lecture hall for a bit. If you need to, go in the bathroom and splash some water in your face. I personally like to follow up the face splash with a good look at myself in the mirror while I tell myself, “Get it together, you weakling.” You know, whatever works.
  4. Start your day with a shower. Taking a shower before class can help wake you up in the morning, something especially helpful for those early 8 a.m.’s and 9 a.m.’s and all the other a.m.’s. Keep the shower cold. I find that I can get too comfortable and doze off in the shower when the water is way too hot. Using cold water can be pretty intense, but it can definitely help. Seriously though, take a shower. Smell good. It can get you far in life.
  5. Be engaged. I know this article is dedicated to giving out tips on staying awake so you can pay attention in class, but how many people can honestly say they really pay attention? Being engaged and interacting with your professor by asking questions is the probably the best way to stay awake while getting the most from your lectures. So get off social media and put away those other distractions. Unless you really want to scroll through a Facebook feed full of statuses with excessive emojis by those relatives you may have met twice, or politically-charged opinion pieces written by that one person from high school who now thinks they’re some kind of public figure, just pay attention.

These are just a few ways to keep yourself from dozing off during class and I’m sure there are tons more. If you’re someone who tends to fall asleep during class, I hope you find this article at least somewhat helpful. Good luck to all my day dreamers and no-shame sleepers. May the snooze be with you.

Featured image by Brent Ramirez.

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