As the winter months droll on and students struggle to survive the end of the first semester, attending class is less than appealing. Classroom goals transition from understanding the Balkan genocide to simply keeping one’s eyes open. When a cramped desk starts to seem more like a cozy bed, students need to do everything they can in order to stay awake

We can’t blame ourselves for struggling to stay awake. Experts admit that the early school start is not conducive to eight hours of sleep that teens require. But sadly, the school schedule won’t be changing anytime soon, leaving students yearning for methods to keep their sleepy heads off of their inviting desks.

Because of this struggle, I have compiled a list of methods that prove to be effective in keeping one alert.  That list goes as follows:

Pop a stick of gum. Chewing keeps your mouth moving, which helps to keep you awake. Opt for minty flavors, for mint is a stimulant that will wake up your senses as soon as it hits the tongue.

Request a seat in the front. You are much less likely to fall asleep if you’re sitting front and center, where the teacher observes your every move. Plus, it’s much easier to pay attention when you sit up close because the teacher is more likely to engage you in the lesson by addressing you personally.

Recruit a pal. Befriend that quiet kid who sits next to you, and recruit them to be your “staying awake” agent. They can pinch you when your lids start to droop, or tell you a quick joke or riddle to wake up your brain.

Don’t slouch. The second you let your back start sliding down the chair, you’re almost destined to fall asleep. If you sit up straight, you are more likely to stay alert.

Drink Coffee. It seems like the obvious solution, but you’d be surprised by how many students fail to use the Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s that are both conveniently located a few miles from the school.  Both provide hot, eye-opening brew daily.

There you have it, you prideful little sleepy heads! Just follow these guidelines, and staying awake should not be a problem!


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