5 Ways To Stay Awake During Lectures

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

By Ellisha Chua Hui Xuan (19J10), Photos by Wong Yoke Ting, Zoelle (19J10)

Ever trudged into school with less than 5 hours of sleep, lugging heavy eye bags filled with dread for the upcoming lectures? Fear not, as this list has got you covered! After much trial and error as well as extensive research, I have curated a few foolproof ways to stay awake during lectures (even the most boring ones).

So stifle your yawn, whip your RV foolscap pad out and get ready to take down some notes!

1. Have A Snack

Something as small as a single skittle could give you that burst of energy you need to keep your eyes peeled. Only tiny tidbits like candy work for this method, because larger snacks would draw the unwanted attention of a teacher. Just a word of caution, be as discreet as possible, as most teachers do not take kindly to students sneaking food into lecture theaters!

2. Get A Friend To Help

Employ a classmate who was fortunate enough to get 8 hours of sleep to give you a sharp prod with the RV collar pin to keep you awake each time you doze off. Choose this friend wisely, as you do not want to pick someone who ends up napping alongside you, too.

3. Keep Writing

Peer down at the blank foolscap in front of you. Now pick up a pen, and start writing! It could be anything, from words related to the lecture to what your plans are for lunch. The point of this is to keep your mind busy and therefore, awake. A reminder to not let your mind wander too far though; remember to listen and keep track of where the lecture is heading. The goal is to stay awake, not to get lost in your thoughts!

4. Doodle

Similar to the previous method, doodling keeps you busy. Draw anything that comes to mind, animals, flowers, even the person sitting right next to you. It is a fun way to stay awake but be warned, you still have to pay attention to where the lecture is going. There’s no point being awake if you aren’t even following the lesson!

5. Don't

What happens when all these tips fail, and you find your eyelids sealed shut, your head bobbing to the lecturer’s “lullaby”? Sometimes it’s just too difficult to keep your eyes open and your seat at the corner of LT 1 is just too comfortable. We’ve all been there. Just remember, you may not be able to change the past, but you still have control over your future. Get a friend to update you, do extra revision in your own time or schedule a consultation to catch up on what you missed.

Succumbing to sleep, especially in the midst of a dull lecture is always extremely tempting. I do hope this list helps to equip you with the tools to find the strength and self-discipline to resist the temptation of a mid-lecture nap!

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