Five ways to stay awake in a lecture

LecturesleepLate night studying (partying)? Recovering from the first wave of flu this season? Your favourite T.V. series finale aired the night before your assignment due date? Whatever your reason, staying up late or even pulling a classic all-nighter can make things tough for the next day or two.

I myself can’t say that I have actually fallen asleep during class but I have come pretty close and certainly found myself extremely jealous of others when they fall into the lull of blissful slumber in class. Luckily, I have discovered five tips that help me stay awake and fingers crossed they work for you too!

Get a good nights sleep beforehand. Obvious, right? Apparently it’s easier said then done. As university students it’s often easy to forget what sleep actually is. Remember, it’s that thing you do when you close your eyes and start dreaming, preferably in bed, but could be the couch or even desk (when watching bulk YouTube videos), but you get the idea. Most of us live by the notion that three hours of sleep is better than none, but getting 8 hours a night works wonders for your concentration levels and ability to fight the onset of sleep in class. I can guarantee that you’ll not only stay awake but you might even retain some of the lecture content. Incredible!

Move around. Okay, so don’t literally get up and walk around in the middle of the lecture, but try these little things. Quietly tap your foot on the ground or jiggle your leg. This might annoy everyone else in the room but, hey, I’m sure they would rather put up with a little foot tapping over the sounds of you snoring your head off. Alternatively, make sure you get up in the lecture break and go for a walk up the corridor or walk outside to get some fresh air; this will help you wake up and remain awake for the rest of the class.

Ask questions. You’ll find that staying awake is much easier if you’re actively participating, rather than just sitting and listening. Take notes and clarify what you don’t understand. Not only will you benefit from this, but your fellow classmates will too. So do yourself a favour and join in!

Sit front and centre. Contrary to popular belief, sitting in the front row is not just for nerds! It is actually one of my most valued tips for a few reasons. Firstly, if your lecturer can clearly see you, you’ll be less inclined to go on Facebook or fall asleep in class, which, believe it or not, will actually help you learn! Who would have thought? Secondly, sitting in the front row might actually force you to pay attention, even if it’s only because you don’t want to embarrass yourself by nodding off. Trust me, it works!

Friends. Seriously, have you ever been that tired that you considered asking the person next to you to pinch you each time you drift off? If you have to resort to this, you’re probably better off taking a nap in the corner. Although this might be a good idea in theory, in reality your friends are probably just as tired as you anyways, so it probably wouldn’t work! It might pay to make a pact with them to always sit in the front row (see tip above) and help each other get through the lecture together that way.

I’m sure you would have noticed that I didn’t mention drinking all the coffee to help you stay awake. That’s because I actually hate coffee! But this is a highly regarded method of staying awake in class so if coffee works for you, then by all means, drink a litre of the stuff! Anyways, that’s about where my knowledge ends on this topic, but I am sure each of you have your own tips, so feel free to leave a comment with your own. Hopefully this at least gave you some insight into my methods of staying awake in class.

Until next time!

– Emily

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