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Emilie Medland-Marchen

Five ways to keep yourself awake and alert during incredibly early morning lectures

By Derek Baker, August 30 2016  —

Let’s face it — getting up for 8:00 a.m. lectures can be a struggle. Sometimes, even holding your eyes open can be the most difficult task ever. But falling asleep in class is never a good look. Here are a few tips to spare you the embarrassment of nodding off during lecture.

Caffeine: The university student’s drug of choice. After waiting in the Tim Hortons queue for what seems like an eternity, that sweet, sweet cup of joe is almost worth missing the first half of lecture. But sometimes, an extra-large double-double doesn’t pack enough of a punch to wake you up. Instead, stick an IV in your arm and pump that shit right into your veins. A steady drip of caffeine into your system will ensure you remain awake for every lecture.

Hired help: A little physical pain can never hurt in keeping you alert. We’ve all tried the trick of literally pinching ourselves to stay awake during something important. But in lecture, both hands are usually occupied typing or writing notes.

To solve this dilemma, dip into your student loan and hire an elite squad of professionals to pinch you at 30-second intervals throughout your lecture. You may receive disapproving looks from your classmates as you and your team take up seven seats in the room, but at least you’ll remain attentive enough to take notes on
the difference between mitosis and meiosis.

Become a cyborg: There are rumours that the biology and computer science departments are working on a way to combine our DNA with the mechanics of a robot. You’ll run solely on electricity, which can be obtained by carrying a stack of portable phone chargers to class. As an added bonus, you will be spared by your robotic comrades when the inevitable artificial intelligence uprising occurs.

Body paint: Befriend an art student and exploit their talents, allowing your dozing through class to remain undetected. Take it a step up from simply painting eyes on your eyelids and paint your whole body to match the seats in the lecture theatre. Blending into the background, you’ll be able to peacefully sleep through the professor’s ramblings without bringing attention to yourself. Bonus points if someone thinks the seat is unoccupied and actually sits on you.

Photosynthesis: This technique can be tricky. It requires you to become part plant, enabling you to create a constant stream of sugar into your body through photosynthesis. In order for this to work, your class must be in an adequately bright theatre or classroom — a tough find at the University of Calgary — and you need to find a way to insert chloroplasts into your cells. If you’re up for the challenge, I’ve heard the botany program is looking for a few human subjects to experiment on.

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