How to Stop Dozing Off In Class

If you got a pathetically small amount of sleep last night, here are some very helpful tips on how to stay awake in class.

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By Gabriel Gutierrez

Chances are, you’ve had the urge at least once to close your eyes during your teachers’ lectures. Not because your teachers are boring—it would be SCANDALOUS of you to even think that—but because of your sleep deprivation. It’s a real problem, and it’s no secret that many Stuyvesant students go to sleep at ungodly hours. Naturally, this leads to a tendency for students to doze off, especially in hot, stuffy classrooms. Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of very useful tips to prevent falling asleep during class.

Buy an iced coffee from Starbucks. Bring it to class. It’ll draw the eyes of jealous neighbors to you and your drink, and that will give you enough self-righteous energy to last the period. Also, if you happen to spill it in a strict teacher’s class, you will die of shame—but hey, at least that means you won’t have to worry about staying awake anymore.

Dramatically guilt trip yourself. Tell yourself, “I will stay awake. Because if I don’t, I won’t hear the teacher; if I don’t hear the teacher, I’ll fail my test; if I fail my test, I’ll fail the class; if I fail the class, I will fail school; if I fail school, I’ll become a hobo,” repeatedly in your head. Or out loud, if you’re willing to ignore the judgmental stares from your peers.

Eat something. The two-minute breakfast you forced down this morning will give you enough energy to survive your commute to school, but that’s about it. Unfortunately, the cafeteria never provides enough edible food. You can buy something from the vending machines if you don’t mind the pain of knowing you got ripped off. Having food is like having a magical people magnet. Your friends in class will see you eating and endlessly pester you for some food, making you too busy shooing them away for you to fall asleep.

Fear the teacher. You want to avoid that disapproving look from your teacher, the “pick your head up,” or the classic “I’ve been standing since 6 a.m., so if anyone should be tired, it’s me.” It’s annoying to hear, so stop giving teachers the chance to complain. Let them suffer in silence with us!

Fix that hunched posture. Sleeping on a desk isn’t exactly good for your posture, which wasn’t that great to begin with. Sitting up straight will save you some back pain in your future. And one day when you’re old and gray, you’ll be able to flex your unbroken spine to your friends at the nursing home.

Go to the bathroom (or at least pretend to). Under the premise of going to the bathroom, you can breathe the stale air of the hallways—one whiff of that deliciousness will be sufficient to wake you up. You may feel a twinge of hatred toward those who have a free during that period. You could also actually go to the bathroom, and if you’re tired and desperate enough, splash some cold sink water on your face. The suspicious water will give you red rashes and itchy skin; you’ll be too busy scratching your face all day to fall asleep.

Hire a friend to poke you during class. Simple—once you start drifting off, your friend will persistently poke your arm. Kind of like Facebook pokes, except they’re very real and very annoying. You can pay them to do it, though it’s probably not necessary because it’s a win-win situation—you’ll be able to stay awake and your friend will have a lot of fun irritating you free of charge!

People are watching you. Okay, maybe you’re not that popular, so people aren’t actually watching you. However, there’s always a possibility that you could have your own personal stalker in the very same classroom. Do you really want them to watch you sleep? Creepy, right? Or maybe you have friends that are more like paparazzi, trying to get embarrassing photos of you. If you don’t stay awake and alert, you’ll be the next victim of the @stuysleep accounts.

Sleep during your free periods. Fair warning: this barely works. Usually, once it’s your free period, every hint of fatigue vanishes, your phone becomes absolutely irresistible, and if you have any friends, they become colossal distractions. Anything can happen—one minute you’re set on taking a power nap, the next minute you’re swimming drowning in the Hudson River after accepting a dare. But still, it’s an idea!

Wear your PE uniform to class. You’ll feel the prickly judgmental eyes of your classmates on you—it’ll be an attack on your self-consciousness that’ll keep you, well, conscious. Also, your sweat on that uniform will stink up the place, keeping everyone, not just you, awake.

Next time you get three or less hours of sleep, use these tips and do anything you can to stay awake. Help Stuyvesant maintain the status quo that school is more important than sleep!