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We’ve all had that one class. You know the one. You drag your feet getting there because you just can’t stay awake. Maybe the teacher speaks in a monotone. Maybe the subject matter is really uninteresting. Maybe it’s a government-controlled test to determine your attention span. Who knows! But either way, if you’re looking for a way to combat sleepiness in that class, we have some tips for you, courtesy of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: College Edition.

Pull your hair or pinch yourself.
Making yourself physically uncomfortable will make you less likely to fall asleep.

Wear as few items of clothing as possible.
The cold will keep you awake.

Hide more interesting reading material.
Prop open your textbook and conceal a novel or a magazine inside it. Hold a highlighter in your hand and pretend to be taking notes as you read.

Suggest holding class outside.
If the weather is nice, ask the professor to teach out on the college green. This strategy rarely works for large survey classes or the sciences.

Send text messages on your cell phone.
Engage in a running text message exchange with other students in the class about how bad the professor is. Make sure that your keypad is set to mute so that you do not distract other students around you or draw your professor’s attention to yourself.

Make paper airplanes.
Make as many models as you can. Pretend they are having fierce battles.

Keep a list of words with dirty meanings.
Write down words with alternate sexual meanings (melons, stock, position, score) as they are spoken by your professor. In the right frame of mind, almost any word will work.

Take notes with your nondominant hand.
Concentrate on staying in the lines.

Take notes in a foreign language.
Practice your language skills by translating your professor’s lecture. Bring along your translation dictionary to increase your vocabulary.

Keep a superlative log.
Identify the most interesting people in class on a daily basis. Observe how people change over time. Categories could include

  • Most attractive
  • Tallest
  • Blondest
  • Ugliest
  • Dirtiest
  • Dumbest

Pretend you are a secret agent.
You are on a dangerous mission and must make it through class alive. Spy on people to see what they are writing. Use a small hand mirror and a penlight to send Morse code to a confederate across the room.