5 Ways To Stay Awake In Class (That You Might Not Know About)

By Betty Wang, JD on October 31, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Let's be real -- law school classes are not as scintillating as TV and movies make them seem. In fact, sometimes they're the exact opposite and have the wonderful effect of, well, putting you to sleep. Long gone are the days when you feared cold-calling, eh?

While many choose to treat class time as an occasion to g-chat and window shop (to the girl in the second row, at least move to the back of the room) in an effort to stay awake and make the time go by faster, there is also the option of paying attention and trying to learn -- even if it is an area of law you know you'll never practice in. Here are 5 ways to stay awake in class.

  1. Incentive. It might help to create an incentive to sit through class -- maybe that glorious nap that you can crash into as soon as it's over, or a fun activity that creates motivation for you to concentrate in class. Whatever it is, make it something that you can't get until class is over.
  2. Get your money's worth. Seriously, this should be enough of a reason for you to stay awake in class. In fact, this should be a reason for you to attend as many classes as possible. Remember that you're paying for your law school tuition and that's a lot of pretty pennies going down the drain if you don't at least try to retain something in each class. A tip: try calculating how much each class costs you, that number just might do the trick in making you sit upright.
  3. Learn something. Yes, it has to be said -- knowledge is power. There must have been a reason that you signed up for the class you're sitting in, whether it's a topic of interest to you or a required bar-topic, these are all reasons for you to quit nodding off and pay attention. You'll feel much better once you pick up one new piece of information.
  4. Energizing snacks. Food is the answer to most of our problems in life -- why not make good use of it to help you stay awake in class? As long as it's not too disruptive in noise and smell, feel free to snack to keep yourself awake and maybe temporarily focused enough to pay attention. A word of caution, though, you may want to stay away from energy drinks -- the crash and other unhealthy side effects could be dangerous.
  5. Accountability. It may help to establish some sort of accountability -- for yourself and maybe to someone else. Offer to help take notes for your sick classmate, or maybe trade off with a friend on certain class days. This way, you'll be forced to concentrate, take in information, and transfer it all into legible notes for someone else and yourself.

Lastly, if you're reading this while in class -- thank you for the support. Now, get back to it.

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