The Clog’s ultimate survival guide to napping in class

Nishali Naik/Staff

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. You were up all night, writing a paper or binge-watching the entire second season of “Riverdale” (or probably both). Either way, exhaustion has hit hard, and your brain is not feeling like Berkeley, and frankly, you should get an award for even showing up to class at all. You come to the conclusion that the world’s shortest doze is what you need, the perfect cure for your slump. And it’s perfect … until you awake abruptly to a cold-call question. That, Bears, is the definition of waking up on the wrong side of the bed, if we can say so ourselves. We here at the Clog feel your pain, so we’ve decided to put together the ultimate guide to avoid getting exposed while napping in class.

Tip 1: Know your enemy 

First of all, let the record show that the type of professor or GSI that cold calls is simply the worst. Odds are though, this isn’t a one-off. If they’ve cold-called in the past, there’s a 99.9 percent chance that they will again in the future. Once a cold-caller, always a cold-caller. So, if you find yourself snoozing your alarm a handful of times before you drag yourself to your 8 a.m., grab a Yerba Matte shot, do some jumping jacks or splash some cold water on your face because you already know what’s waiting for you when you get there. Know your enemy and prepare for battle accordingly.

Tip 2: Don’t nap, but if you must nap, nap smart

You’ve fought the good fight, but the Z’s are just too strong. It’s not your fault that the professor’s voice is the ideal octave for a bedtime story and the heater feels like your favorite fuzzy blanket. Clearly, the stars have aligned for you to take the perfect in-class nap, perfect meaning undetected.

If you possess the skill to sleep with your eyes open, now might be the time to employ that. But for all of us nonsuperheroes out there, may we suggest the classic elbow on desk, hand on forehead position? It’s all about the angles on this one, so try aligning yourself perpendicularly to the professor if possible to obtain maximal facial shielding.

But if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and want to nap with style, try sporting some shades during class. The options are endless: aviators, heart-shaped, light-up — you name it. Not only is it the ideal tool for undercover napping, but also may even give you mysterious vibes. There’s only one way to find out, but remember: nap smarter, not harder.

Tip 3: Always have an emergency plan

You’re a good 10 minutes into a dream about Yogurt Park when you hear your name echo in the lecture hall, and suddenly your dream has turned into a nightmare.

Phase one: stay calm and react as slowly as possible. Any sharp movements this late in the game will just expose your guilt further. Buy yourself time — raise your head slowly, wrinkle your eyebrows and put on your best perplexed facial expressions while pondering the question with a loud “hmm.” And if you’re lucky, this will be enough for your professor or GSI to give you a leading question, but if they leave you hanging and you find yourself singing, “how could you be so heartless?” it’s time to employ your last resort, phase two.

Phase two: take the loss as gracefully as possible. Since time machines don’t exist (yet!), there comes a point in this situation when you must face the fact: the professor has won, and you have lost. You can, however, salvage some dignity by learning to lose the napping-in-lecture-game with grace. It’s pretty simple actually: read whatever is on the board. Start your sentence with “so” and begin. An equation? Read it out loud. A definition? Define it again with confidence to trick people into thinking you brought about some new insight.

Nap on, you Bears!

Contact McKenna Hathaway at [email protected].