It’s 10 a.m., you’ve had your coffee, you’ve gotten at least five hours of sleep — you can do this. You can stay awake through this 75-minute class.

Or not.

Suddenly it’s 11:15 and the chorus of zippers and desks folding down pulls you out of your dream about the cutie next door. From the look on your professor’s face, this can’t happen again, so here are a few tips to avoid snoozing your way to an F.

1. Start narrating people in your class

Find someone in the room. It can be that girl online shopping, the guy texting under his desk or a fellow chronic napper. Then channel the great Morgan Freeman and tell their tale. For example, “Frederick had fucked up. Last night, he drunk-texted his mom asking her if she could ‘pick up more alc on the way to the rager.’ Ever since then he has been fielding texts from his pastor, who is giving Frederick a talking to at the request of Frederick’s mother.”

2. Get your neighbor to regularly poke you

This is much easier if you have a concerned friend in the class, but if not, slip the person next to you a dollar and ask them to poke you every five minutes. It’s cheaper than coffee and probably more effective.

3. Do reading for another class

What keeps you awake better than stress? Do some good old productive procrastination and start reading the textbook for a class that you’re totally lost in. Soon you’ll be fending off so many stress dreams that you won’t even want to fall asleep!

4. Inject caffeine directly into your bloodstream

Just make sure the needle is sterile.

5. Learn to sleep with your eyes open

This is not for everyone, but for those that are willing to put in the effort there are master sleepers who will occasionally take novices under their wing to train in the art of sleeping with open eyes. To find them, you must learn the secret call and perform it in front of the mirror at midnight.

6. “Blink” extra long

If all these techniques fail and your professor catches you with your eyes closed, they can’t prove that you weren’t just blinking for an extended amount of time.


Zoey Brandt is a second-year English major who wrote this while trying not to sleep in class.