How Not To Fall Asleep During Physics

Physics is great. Dropping your phone, crazy hair getting static-y, meteorites plummeting into Mahther Russiaeverything is physics. Not to mention – Newton’s the man.

Sir Isaac Newton: Like A Boss

Like a boss.

Physics is not the problem. Monotonic professors in poorly lit rooms are the problem. But even that is shifting the blame.

A college professor’s job is not to entertain their students. [Aside: Please excuse me for using “their” as a gender neutral term. I’m lazy and I dislike how jarring “he/she” looks.] Their job is to enlighten the future of America and inspire them to be model citizens for country. More or less. Therefore, I appreciate teachers – I really do – even the ones who don’t give a crap. I’m not one to judge.

However, when you have to wake up at 6 AM, watch your brain turn to goo in a logic and reasoning mathematics class, and then go straight to physics, things aren’t going to look very pretty. You see, by this point, your morning has been shot to hell and you’re inclined to be a Grumpy McGrouchster for the rest of the day. But you won’t be openly hostile to others because you’re a stand-up guy/gal, who saves all the stress and fatigue for when you slip into bed and then cry into your pillow until dawn – before starting the cycle over tomorrow. O first world problems.

All in all, what I’m saying is it’s hard to stay awake in class sometimes. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about the subject. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the professor. It does mean that waking up early and going to morning classes make me tired and ancient professors with soft, milquetoast voices make me even more tired. I need toothpicks to keep my eyes pried open.

Because I’m ever so enlightened and generous, here are some ways to stay awake during [insert sleep-inducing class here]:

  • Doodle
  • Plan out your weekend
  • Text madly
  • Write poetry
  • Scratch out your doodle ’cause it was crap
  • Text merrily
  • Think about how much you hate Andrea from The Walking Dead
  • Pen the next great American novel (or Chinese novel – whatever floats your boat)
  • Try to come up with a blog post that isn’t obviously phoning it in

Or, if you’re one of them rebels who couldn’t care less:

  • Wear sunglasses
  • Pick a seat in the back of the room
  • Place hand on chin
  • Fall asleep

Disclaimer: Not recommended if you’re a snorer. Pleasant dreams.

How many hours of sleep do you usually get? How do you stay awake in class? Tell us your tactical secrets. (It’s the Internet. Your secret’s safe.)

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11 thoughts on “How Not To Fall Asleep During Physics

  1. Pingback: In Which the Student Commits Somnicide | Stressing Out College

  2. I had Linguistics (the most boring thing ever) at 7.30 on a Monday morning… you can’t teach me anything about falling asleep in class. Then I would wake up enough to go to French literature straight afterwards and promptly fall asleep again. My pro tip is to chew gum (preferably a minty one) and you will instantly be less sleepy. I use it when working through the night too.
    In those class-sleeping days, I was lucky to get four hours a night… šŸ˜‰

  3. I love your style. And thank you for reminding me of all the times I did the “head nod” in class even though I liked the material/professor. Now that I find myself on the other side of the desk, I often forget this!

      • I wish I could say that I do. I do make a point of doing a “Psych in Action” segment in every class of Psych 101 in which I encourage students to actively apply the material to their lives, usually through the use of self-assessments and small group discussion. That seems to help keep the lecture lively (as does the mid-lecture break!). But I know there are ways to keep students more engaged – such as by using clickers in which their answers are registered to questions throughout the lecture – and I hope to employ those techniques more in the future…when I can make time to revamp entire lessons! As you said, professors aren’t necessarily there to “entertain” but I do think we’re supposed to fight for engagement…it’s a fine line between the two. Thanks for getting me thinking!

        • That’s great! The teachers that have stayed in my mind (in a positive light) have been the ones who not only knew their subject very well, but who were also very engaging (mostly through humor). These teachers respected us students while also commanding respect – respectfully, of course šŸ™‚

          Glad I could help get ya thinkin’ and good luck!

  4. Pingback: Fwd: How Not To Fall Asleep During Physics « Wordschat- WORDS VIA MOBILE: MOVIE REVIEWS & MORE

  5. You forgot one pastime to procrastine and avoid boredom in class or work; discreetly check out that hot girl or guy you know you shouldn’t be checking out and daydream of them.

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