Staying Awake in Boring Classes - Is it Normal?

In summary, the conversation discusses different strategies for staying awake and focused during boring classes. Some suggestions include playing games on a calculator, bringing a snack or drink, or simply not attending the class at all. Some people also suggest finding ways to make the material more interesting, such as asking questions or reading along with the lecture. Others question the effectiveness of lecture-style teaching and suggest alternative methods such as discussions. Overall, the conversation highlights the struggles and different approaches to staying engaged in uninteresting classes.
  • #1
How do you all stay awake through your boring classes? Every year that's my problem. Maybe it's just me but I can't focus too well when I'm falling asleep.:rofl: Is that normal? lol.
 
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  • #2
I play the games on my TI-83 from high school.
 
  • #3
HS: sleep

College: walk out
 
  • #4
Pengwuino said:
College: walk out

Or don't go to class at all.
 
  • #5
or don't take boring classes.
 
  • #6
Math Is Hard said:
or don't take boring classes.

easy A's though!

What pisses me off though is those boring easy mick classes that require you to be there everyday in one form or another (say, homework every class or being told what homework to do in class instead of online or something).
 
  • #7
Or get more sleep the night before.

If your instructor doesn't object, bring a light snack (I happen to love oranges when I'm tired and need a boost to keep me going; if you're going to eat them in class though, it would be best to have it already peeled and the wedges separated and put into a plastic container so you're not making a mess or distracted by trying to peel an orange instead of taking notes) or bring a bottle of water or a cup of coffee (beverages might not be a great idea if you have a long lecture though :wink:). I used to have 80 min lectures in college, and my attention span while sitting still seemed to only be about 40 min, no matter how interesting the lecture, so sometimes you just have to do something to snap yourself back, especially if it's that after lunch lecture where you're full and drowsy already).
 
  • #8
Pengwuino said:
easy A's though!

What pisses me off though is those boring easy mick classes that require you to be there everyday in one form or another (say, homework every class or being told what homework to do in class instead of online or something).

It's true that sometimes you just don't have a choice about taking a class or two that you find boring because they're required to fulfill graduation requirements. And I'll say what others might be unwilling to say...sometimes the subject is interesting, but the lecturer has the world's most boring speaking voice and lulls the students off to sleep as well.
 
  • #9
I had four hours straight of class every weekday for ten weeks this summer. :smile:

Sometimes, when I was really tired, I just ignored the lectures and thought about something else entirely. Of course, most of the time the material was actually interesting, so I didn't have problems with boredom.

If your goal is just to be there without falling asleep, then you could read a book or something like that. But if you actually want to pay attention, then you could try asking yourself questions as you listen: that way, you won't just be listening to someone else talk. And you'll probably learn more, too.

Edit: Something else just occurred to me. You could cut off some of those pesky fingers on your off hand: you don't actually need them for taking notes or anything, and the pain will probably keep you awake.
 
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  • #10
I almost never attend any lecture classes, unless I know I absolutely have to. In fact, I don't even see the point of having lecture classes. Why not simply write down what you are going to say in the lecture and have people read it? It's a waste of time, everybody's time, to teach things in a way that could easily be done another way. I'd much rather read than listen to someone speak for over an hour. I can do in on my own time, when I'm wide awake, while I'm eating, at my own pace, whatever. Someone tell me what exactly justifies the concept of a lecture class.
 
  • #11
loseyourname said:
I almost never attend any lecture classes, unless I know I absolutely have to. In fact, I don't even see the point of having lecture classes. Why not simply write down what you are going to say in the lecture and have people read it? It's a waste of time, everybody's time, to teach things in a way that could easily be done another way. I'd much rather read than listen to someone speak for over an hour. I can do in on my own time, when I'm wide awake, while I'm eating, at my own pace, whatever. Someone tell me what exactly justifies the concept of a lecture class.
History. Humans started out teaching this way, so they'll continue teaching this way. If they were good enough for people a thousand years ago, then who are we to question lectures? :smile:
 
  • #12
An apple can apparently wake you up just as well if not better than a cup of coffee. At least this is what I have been hearing a lot lately.
 
  • #13
Archon said:
History. Humans started out teaching this way, so they'll continue teaching this way. If they were good enough for people a thousand years ago, then who are we to question lectures? :smile:

The alphabet had not yet been invented in most parts of the world a thousand years ago, much less the printed word. You'd think we could get a little ahead of the time. Or look to the old Greek academies and symposium. They held discussions, rather than lectures.
 
  • #14
loseyourname said:
I almost never attend any lecture classes, unless I know I absolutely have to. In fact, I don't even see the point of having lecture classes. Why not simply write down what you are going to say in the lecture and have people read it? It's a waste of time, everybody's time, to teach things in a way that could easily be done another way. I'd much rather read than listen to someone speak for over an hour. I can do in on my own time, when I'm wide awake, while I'm eating, at my own pace, whatever. Someone tell me what exactly justifies the concept of a lecture class.

Well, for some, reading alone is not enough, especially if they are an auditory learner. For others, it helps to hear something explained in a different way. And the real answer is that your lecture should be discussing things that you can't just read in your book, filling in gaps, giving you a chance to ask questions, updating the latest information that's outdated in the textbook, putting it in perspective, and letting you know what information are the important concepts, and what are just picky details.

If you only want to learn by reading books and aren't interested in attending lectures and being taught by the professors, why waste your money on tuition?
 
  • #15
Moonbear said:
Well, for some, reading alone is not enough, especially if they are an auditory learner. For others, it helps to hear something explained in a different way. And the real answer is that your lecture should be discussing things that you can't just read in your book, filling in gaps, giving you a chance to ask questions, updating the latest information that's outdated in the textbook, putting it in perspective, and letting you know what information are the important concepts, and what are just picky details.

And is there any reason that a professor couldn't simply post these on a web page, or e-mail his class?

If you only want to learn by reading books and aren't interested in attending lectures and being taught by the professors, why waste your money on tuition?

I never said I'm only interested in reading books. I'm only interested in absorption of raw information through reading. Class time should be used for discussions, seminars, workshops, and labs. It should not be used to have someone stand in front of a large group reading aloud what could be read on the student's own time and at their own pace.

Also, regarding why I bother to pay tuition: Despite the fact that I can often learn in three weeks what it somehow takes a semester to cover in a class, nobody seems to care unless I have paper documentation certifying my knowledge.
 
  • #16
loseyourname said:
And is there any reason that a professor couldn't simply post these on a web page, or e-mail his class?
1) It would take a lot longer to write up than to just talk about it, 2) not everyone learns that way.

I never said I'm only interested in reading books. I'm only interested in absorption of raw information through reading. Class time should be used for discussions, seminars, workshops, and labs. It should not be used to have someone stand in front of a large group reading aloud what could be read on the student's own time and at their own pace.

Of course it shouldn't be used to just read aloud what's already covered in the book. Is that what your professors do? Of course, if the class would wake up and ask questions, there would be more discussion. There's nothing worse than having to lecture to a room full of lumps of clay.
 
  • #17
loseyourname said:
Also, regarding why I bother to pay tuition: Despite the fact that I can often learn in three weeks what it somehow takes a semester to cover in a class, nobody seems to care unless I have paper documentation certifying my knowledge.
Took the words right out of my mouth. I'm not in school yet, but this is my main reason for wanting to return. There are pros and cons to both learning on your own and attending school. If there were a way to learn on my own and still come away with a diploma (that could actually help me get a job), I doubt that I would go back to school. I don't even miss having a live teacher and fellow students anymore. And with places like PF, you're not really even on your own. :smile:
As for dealing with boring classes, er, I just dropped out.* :tongue2:

*not that I recommend this for everyone...
 
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  • #18
I have never fallen asleep in a class, and I don't think I ever will, no matter how boring it is or how tired I am. (Once last semester, I had been up for 28 hours working on a robot when I had my most boring class, and I still didn't fall asleep.) For some reason, I'm just not capable.
 
  • #19
If I feel like my eyes are getting heavy I tickle the roof of my mouth with my tongue. It will get desensitized after a few minutes so you have to kind of move it around. You can get "skillz" this way too. :blushing: I also remember reading somewhere that some Japanese companies release citrus scents into the AC in the morning and after lunch to keep their employees awake.
 
  • #20
I simply have a Coke for breakfast. Not great after just having brushed your teeth, but it helps keep your eyes open.
 
  • #21
Learning Curve said:
How do you all stay awake through your boring classes? Every year that's my problem. Maybe it's just me but I can't focus too well when I'm falling asleep.:rofl: Is that normal? lol.


I can clearly see lack of Interest.!
The first thing which i think is that if you are not at all interested,you shouldn't go to a class and if you are going ,then ,you are supposed to be fully present,attentive,responsive and with all distractions completely sorted out.!

Sometimes You have to go against yours interest and focus,it will develop of its own as grass grows itself.One cause can be you are having antipathy towards the instructor which distracts you.I will say love your teacher,admire him and you will automatically feel interested in his subject and rise.There shouldn't be any communication gap between you and teacher.

Learn to focus on the Teacher's words,tone,facial expression,body language,there are many things which are to be taken care of.Sometimes non verbal communication leads a person ahead.Above all become an effective listener ,with all ears towards teacher.I believe if a person is able to make out the right thing at right time,he is mounting high.

The mind is like a parachute-it functions only when it is open.
 
  • #22
Moonbear said:
Or get more sleep the night before.

If your instructor doesn't object, bring a light snack (I happen to love oranges when I'm tired and need a boost to keep me going; if you're going to eat them in class though, it would be best to have it already peeled and the wedges separated and put into a plastic container so you're not making a mess or distracted by trying to peel an orange instead of taking notes) or bring a bottle of water or a cup of coffee (beverages might not be a great idea if you have a long lecture though :wink:). I used to have 80 min lectures in college, and my attention span while sitting still seemed to only be about 40 min, no matter how interesting the lecture, so sometimes you just have to do something to snap yourself back, especially if it's that after lunch lecture where you're full and drowsy already).

Amazing Observations Moonbear!
:smile:
the higher we concenterate and focus,more tired we feel after the lecture.Somewhere i read this has come up as an equivalent way of burning calories.
 
  • #23
Why this thread has stopped.! :uhh:
I know i came up with boring reply,
But that's because i love my classes and love my teachers..! :!)
Guys come up with weird ideas.! o:)
 
  • #24
Moonbear said:
Of course it shouldn't be used to just read aloud what's already covered in the book. Is that what your professors do?

That's not what I mean. I'm saying that anything a person says aloud could simply be written down. It doesn't mean that they are reading out of the book.

[Edit: It's worth mentioning that I've actually been lucky enough to have some very good professors who were excellent, interesting speakers. While I may not have had to worry about falling asleep, this doesn't change the fact that I learned nothing from these lectures that I could not have learned better from simply reading. Curiously enough, even when I only manage to attend three or four lecture classes during an entire semester (out of thirty-five or so), I still manage to ace the exams, so I've assumed I'm not missing anything.]

Of course, if the class would wake up and ask questions, there would be more discussion. There's nothing worse than having to lecture to a room full of lumps of clay.

Again, I've never seen the point myself. There is no question my professor can answer that I can't find an answer to elsewhere, aside from "What is going to be on the exam?" When I refer to a discussion class, I mean real discussion, like in a philosophy or English class, something that requires original input. Science is learned by doing science, not by talking about it. Asking questions of the lab instructor is, of course, an integral part of learning, but that goes into a whole 'nother area, separate from lecture.
 
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  • #25
honestrosewater said:
Took the words right out of my mouth. I'm not in school yet, but this is my main reason for wanting to return. There are pros and cons to both learning on your own and attending school. If there were a way to learn on my own and still come away with a diploma (that could actually help me get a job), I doubt that I would go back to school. I don't even miss having a live teacher and fellow students anymore. And with places like PF, you're not really even on your own. :smile:
As for dealing with boring classes, er, I just dropped out.* :tongue2:

*not that I recommend this for everyone...

Yeah, I suppose that one of my major problems was that, like you, I was out of school for several years, and during that time I did a lot of active learning. By the time I got back into school, I already knew most of what was being taught in at least the Gen Ed classes. It was very frustrating having no choice but to attend and perform what ended up amounting to busy work. I tested out of what I could, but there are only so many classes that even allow you to do that (and they're mostly math classes, which does me no good since I'm not a math major).
 
  • #26
What I mean is that the class is so boring i fall asleep. And there's no eating, sleeping, or reading a book.
 
  • #27
Learning Curve said:
What I mean is that the class is so boring i fall asleep. And there's no eating, sleeping, or reading a book.
Well, if you stayed awake would you be learning anything? If not, why do you want to stay awake? You'll get a bad grade if you sleep?
 
  • #28
Where I went to college there was no such thing as a "lecture" class. You could raise your hand and ask a question at any time in any class. I don't think I ever had a class with more than 20 students in it.
 
  • #29
zoobyshoe said:
Where I went to college there was no such thing as a "lecture" class. You could raise your hand and ask a question at any time in any class. I don't think I ever had a class with more than 20 students in it.
That's the ideal scenario. Unfortunately, in large universities, especially with popular introductory level courses, you can have lectures with 300 students in them. When you only have a few faculty who can teach a course and that many students who need to take it, sometimes there is just no other way to teach it. If it's any consolation, the faculty dislike teaching those classes as much as students dislike taking them (which probably worsens the drowsiness factor when a professor let's this show). When I do have to teach to a large lecture, I really try to mix it up a bit and not just talk at the students, but sometimes it's quite difficult to do, especially if the class is unresponsive to questions intended to provoke discussion.
 

1. Why do I feel so sleepy in boring classes?

Feeling sleepy in boring classes is a normal response to a lack of stimulation. Our brains are wired to seek out new and interesting information, and when we are faced with material that is uninteresting or repetitive, our brains can become less engaged, leading to feelings of sleepiness.

2. Is it normal to struggle with staying awake in class?

Yes, it is completely normal to struggle with staying awake in class. Many students experience this issue, especially when the material being taught is not engaging or is presented in a monotonous manner.

3. Can I do anything to stay awake in boring classes?

Yes, there are several strategies you can try to help stay awake in boring classes. These include taking notes, actively participating in class discussions, asking questions, and sitting in the front row to stay more engaged with the material.

4. Is it a sign of laziness if I can't stay awake in class?

No, feeling sleepy in class is not a sign of laziness. It is a natural response to uninteresting material or a lack of engagement. It is important to find ways to stay engaged and focused in class, but it is not a reflection of your work ethic or intelligence.

5. Should I talk to my teacher if I have trouble staying awake in their class?

Yes, it may be helpful to talk to your teacher if you are struggling to stay awake in their class. They may be able to provide additional resources or change their teaching style to better engage you. It is important to communicate openly with your teacher about any challenges you are facing in their class.

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