Friday, March 30, 2012

Nails, Nails, Nails

By Colby Smith, Assistant Account Executive and Photographer/Videographer

Whenever I’m in Target, the first section I wander to is cosmetics. Call me a girly-girl, but I love nail polish.

Nail Art
The recent trend of “nail art
has been a catalyst for me to spend what little money I have in my bank account on small brushes and more nail polish colors.

Nail art can get pretty crazy. It ranges from fake, 4-inch-long nails that are plastered in rhinestones, to glittery stickers that are pre-made and ready to place over your already-polished nails, to do-it-yourself patterns.

My favorite nail blog, “Hey, Nice Nails!,”
is run by two women who paint on all their art by hand, using tiny little brushes and TONS of patience.

Best Brands
The brand that seems to have every color I have ever wanted, Essie, has recently teamed up with my favorite company, TOMS Shoes
. They have created a color called “Barefoot in Blue” to wear during the annual “One Day Without Shoes”
event in April.

While Essie and OPI
are my first picks to buy, they can be a little pricey. My go-to, cheaper alternatives are NYC and Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear.

My Take on Nails in the Professional World
With a handful of my girlfriends getting ready to graduate and preparing for job interviews, one of them mentioned to me that “proper” interview polish should be light or no polish at all. And certainly, no nail art.

Could you get anymore BORING?

While I agree that outrageously long, blinged-out nails are a bit much to rock to an interview, I don’t necessarily agree that you should go in bare-nailed. That is, unless you’re not into nail polish which is acceptable – it’s not everyone’s forte.

But if you are into nail polish, check out my tips for how your nails should look for an interview.

Colby’s Top Tips on Nail Etiquette in the Professional World

1. Plan your nail polish color around your outfit. If you are already wearing a kelly green blazer, you don’t need bright nails to match it. I think the employer will get the picture. Bright nails + bright clothes = too loud! You don’t want to come off obnoxious. You want just the right amount of color to show your individuality and creativity.

2. Fake nails are a no-no. Yes, acrylic nails can be fun. But they might give off too much of an “uppity” vibe to someone who doesn’t know you at all. Go natural!

3. Nails should be appropriate length. Appropriate length meaning short nails are better than long! If you think they are too long, cut ‘em!

4. Keep glitter to a BARE minimum. I personally despise glitter and refuse to wear any polish or clothing that is remotely glittery or sparkly. But if you love glitter on your nails, keep it minimal for an interview. Glitter is not considered professional, but if it is absolutely you, here are some great examples of just the right amount of “professional” sparkle.

Example one.

Example two.

5. Be creative! But not too creative. Nail art is OK. Public relations is a creative industry, therefore get creative with your nails – but not out of line. Something like this or this is a good amount of nail art.

6. Last but not least: ABSOLUTELY NO CHIPPING! Chipping of polish looks tacky and unprofessional. Worried about it? Keep the bottle of polish that is currently on your nails in your purse, just in case you need some last minute touch-ups!

Nail polish is a great way to show your personality in a professional and probably nervous interview situation. We are in public relations, ladies – let’s get creative!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finding Yourself Out on the Trail

By Stephanie Consiglio, Account Executive

My socks begin to become soaked, and I can feel my feet squish with each step with the sole of my shoe. The pitter-patter of every stride I take parallels the rhythm of every breath. The rain starts slow, each drop covering my face.

I smile and began to run a little faster. The puddles are obstacles and mud is flying all over the back of my legs. Running in the rain is one of my favorite things. The funny part is that sitting inside on a rainy day is also one of my favorite things.

Running has been a huge aspect of my life since I was 14. I started running for my high school team and fell in love with the sport. Now I run in college, but I know it won’t stop there. I can’t stop there.

Most people run for their health; I run for the pure enjoyment of it. It hasn’t always been an easy journey, though. I have had multiple injuries inhibiting me from competing throughout an ample amount of seasons. Running is so intrinsic that I can’t give up until I run so much through pain that I literally can’t walk.

Giving up crosses my mind all the time. I could easily try to pick up another sport, but running is a lifestyle. It’s part of who I am. If I didn’t run, I don’t know who I would be. Injuries are comparable to identity crises.

Every day I have come to appreciate each run I get through, no matter how fast or slow it may be. I’m not saying that I am super amped each day I wake up and think about running. There are plenty of days I absolutely loathe the idea of doing a 15-mile run.

Getting started is always the hard part. I sit in my room staring at my yellow and teal Mizunos lying on the floor while telling myself, “OK, Stephanie, you need to get out there.”

Once I lace up my shoes and lock the door behind me, I forget about everything and just go. I love running – the feeling you get when your breathing picks up and your heart starts beating faster. Every muscle fiber is working throughout your legs. The pain is tiring, but it’s a good pain. The euphoria pulses through my body and I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Having Fun Socially, and Socially Getting a Job

By Cheyenne King, Account Executive

We all know the feeling of seeing that little red box of delight on your screen, boosting your ego and giving you the satisfaction that your thought, idea or witty post was liked by at least someone in the world. It's the virtual pat on the back that can give you the craved, instant gratification from your couch.

Whether you are the type to like each clever status, post party pictures to confirm to your “friends” how much fun you have, or make sure your boyfriend isn't tagged somewhere he said he wasn't, we all use Facebook to fill the subconscious void of insecurities.

If you were ahead of the times and had a Facebook back in 2005 when you needed a university email address to even join, you may have had to get rid of your virtual dirty laundry. This makes sure that when you are applying for a job at Google later down the line, you don't have to worry about your employers seeing your fabulous pictures of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day from when you were an undergrad.

In the PR world, branding ourselves is very important. Having an online presence that positively shows how well we use online communications and social media is crucial. A recent law was passed that allows companies to compile social media reports to screen potential hires. Studies show that 45 percent of companies use social media to look at applicants.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are useful for promoting yourself, not just showing off to your friends. Utilizing these sites to get a great job right out of college is an attainable goal. As a graduating senior restlessly looking for a job after college, I've started utilizing these sites to show how great of a PR professional and social media guru I am, instead of how much I enjoy a glass of wine.

Lessons I’ve learned about how to use social media sites to promote yourself include:

  • Figure out who your target audience is
  • Present your skills – whether through writing, photography, or just being creative 
  • Update often and with relevant information
  • If this is your personal page but you also have many followers or friends that are business connections, maintain a balance between personal and professional updates
  • Follow or “friend” businesses or brands that are similar to your interests
  • Engage with your friends
  • Respond promptly
These websites are changing how professionals conduct online business and find jobs. By utilizing social media as a valuable tool for social and professional use, your online presence can be a key to success. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Unexpected Passion

By Julie Ruocco, Assistant Account Executive
“Do you know about computers?”

This is a question I get almost daily at work. Quite honestly, about a year ago I couldn’t say that I did.  Today, however, I can confidently say, “Yes, I do.”

I never expected to be working in technology, let alone computer sales. My experience at
Best Buy has not only turned me on to the tech world but has made me decide to pursue a career in the technology industry.

Being thrown into an environment which I knew nothing about made me learn that much quicker. I taught myself the basics and worked my way up to the accomplished associate I am today.

Besides just learning the product information, I have become extremely passionate about where the next technology will take us and the advancements made. Staying up-to-date on where the
tech world is going makes me feel connected more than ever in this media-dominated society.  

This May I will graduate and pursue a career in technology public relations, and I think the following points will set me apart from the competition:

Listening to customers’ praise and criticism on both products and companies has given me insight on how particular companies are positioned and what they can do better.

  • Being a front-line employee of all things technical, I have the unique opportunity to bring this knowledge into the world of high-tech PR.

  • I see the top reasons customers return items and how their thought process influences their decision making when looking at electronics.

  • If I can sell technology in stores, I can sell it on paper. Knowing how to “sell” technology takes a certain level of knowledge, tactics and push points. The same can be applied to public relations practices.
Overall, my unexpected work experience has given me something I didn’t expect to find – passion for the technology industry.  Coupled with my passion for public relations, I hope that my involvement in technology and the skills I’ve learned will set me apart from other applicants and land me my dream job.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Together Everyone Achieves (Much) More

By Kelsey Barnes, Account Executive

“Two heads are better than one.”

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

We’ve all heard these sayings before at some point or another in our lives, whether it was on our little league baseball team or in a group project at school. But how important is it to have the ability to work effectively in a group?

Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of “150 Best Jobs for Your Skills,” says social skills now rank No. 1 among job skills in highest demand. By social skills he means persuasion, negotiation, social perceptiveness, instructing others, coordinating efforts and service orientation. These skills are all included in the core concept of teamwork.

Teamwork reminds me of a childhood game I used to play called Jenga. This game consists of blocks of wood stacked on top of each other to form one unit. When it’s your turn, you have to pull one block out without letting the unit fall.

When applying this to teamwork, you can imagine each block resembles a person holding a purpose within the unit. Without each person giving 100 percent, the unit will have holes in it and commonly lead to collapse.

Public relations is a field where teamwork is greatly used. It requires a large amount of communication, different roles and a variety of tasks in order to maintain the relationship between an organization and its public.  

It’s not easy to accomplish a goal when you have a group of people with different personalities, beliefs, backgrounds, skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. You need to not only work with these people, but also respect and communicate on a regular basis. Especially with large projects, you might have to spend quite a bit of time with your team.

I have always been on some kind of team ever since I was little. With my mom having put me on a T-ball team as soon as I could walk, playing sports full time in high school and being a public relations major, I have had some experience in the teamwork business.

Here are some helpful tips I have found very helpful when working in a team:
  • Set goals.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. (Even the bad stuff.)
  • Leave meetings with a plan.
  • Try to understand your teammates as people – everyone’s different.
  • Check in on a regular basis to see how things are going.
  • Give praise when deserved! (High fives work great.)
  • Stay positive. Negativity is like poison for teamwork.

As different as you may feel from your teammates at times, always remember that you have one thing in common: your goal!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No Such Thing as Bad Publicity? Think Again Rush

By Greg Bloom, Online Communications Director

In the sideshow-like carnival that is the media and publicity, it is often thought that there is no such thing as bad attention. Any wild act that gives a personality or organization expensive air time is seen as a positive thing that should be manipulated to the fullest extent by said entity. After all, we are fighting through a smorgasbord of cat YouTube videos, status updates and Lindsay Lohan debacles that are constantly fighting for our attention. Any free publicity is good. After all, paid advertisements and air time on major networks can be very, very expensive.

But sometimes there are exceptions to the rule.

Conservative braggart Rush Limbaugh is finding that out the hard way. Currently, the hippopotamus-shaped Republican with the voice of a sea-lion is facing attacks from women’s-rights advocates, mainstream media and the general bad favor of many Americans with his recent verbal nausea in which he equates women who receive government-funded contraceptives and birth control as “sluts” and “prostitutes.”

This was an accusation against Sandra Fluke, who is past president of Georgetown University’s chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. Ms. Fluke has lobbied for Georgetown to include the cost of contraceptive as part of the university’s health insurance for students.

The disgusting accusations didn’t stop there for Limbaugh, who insisted he reveal his twisted perspective on the rights of women in society.

“I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want. ... So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch," said Limbaugh, March 1, 2012.

It’s hard to argue that these obscenities are taken out of context. In these few sentences, Limbaugh showcases blatantly that not only is he a hate-mongering misogynist, he is also abhorrently ignorant on the major American issues such as health care and how unwanted pregnancy destabilizes and negatively affects the economy. 

If his lack of intellect or soul didn’t tell Limbaugh he shouldn’t have opened his mouth, maybe his pocket will.

Major advertisers such as Bare Escentuals, Sensa Weight-Loss System and Vitocost have all sent out messages to the media saying they will no longer advertise with Limbaugh.

Companies are making sure to get as far away from the talk-show host as possible. Sears, AutoZone and Century 21 have all sent out messages online explicitly denying any ties with Limbaugh.

Former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel has even demanded Limbaugh stop using his music on the show.

I don’t think Limbaugh is being dishonest. I do believe his views on women in society are just as abusive, misguided, discriminatory and misogynistic as his comments would lead one to believe. And I believe censorship for the sake of political correctness is always a sin of the media. Yet I do believe Limbaugh will learn a lesson late in his entertainment life that sometimes it might be a good idea to craft your ideas in a way that won’t offend any rational person with half a soul. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to spread abusive hate speech that neither expresses a rational argument nor reveals the humanity of its speaker.

Maybe what his brain couldn’t tell him, his wallet will.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Local Adventurer

By Jennifer Hoffman, Editorial DIrector

So I don’t have time to take multi-week excursions to far-off lands. So I don’t have the extra money to pay for airfare, hotels and decadent, delectable foreign cuisine. Does that mean my adventurer’s spirit is out of luck? Heck, no!

Believe it or not, the Chico area has some adventures hidden in its midst. Small as they may be compared to backpacking across Europe, they help to subdue my traveler’s itch whenever it starts to act up.

Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh, My!

A little past Butte College on Durham-Pentz Road is the Barry R. Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary. How this wonderful place escaped my attention for so long, I don’t know.

A liger at the Kirshner Wildlife Sanctuary.

Until I came here, I thought a liger was just a creation out of “Napoleon Dynamite.” But, no – it’s real, and it has a lion for a father and a tiger for a mother. That’s some family tree.

Among the many other animals at the sanctuary, just to mention a few, are an entertaining ring-tailed lemur, a wallaby, a couple of fuzzy black bears, several ferocious-looking leopards who appeared to want to hunt me as I walked by their enclosures and two adorable and cuddly fennec foxes named Mulder and Scully.

Mulder and Scully, two fennec foxes.

The Kirshner Sanctuary only charges $7 per adult to visit, which is a small amount to pay to see all the beautiful rescued and endangered animals it has given good homes to.

Take a Hike.
Every time I hike through Upper Bidwell Park, it takes my breath away. Yes, it’s great exercise and it always leaves me huffing and puffing, but the views and landscapes are amazing as well. Best of all, it’s free!

There are a multitude of different trails, enough so that I am never left wanting for a mysterious and winding pathway to travel.  And what my quest will have waiting for me at the end, I can never guess. A cliff-side seat with a scene of the canyon and creek below is my favorite.

Whatever it may be, my journey is always rewarded.

Try a Mental Adventure.
Who says a mind adventure isn’t as good as a physical one? Books are one of my favorite ways to escape the doldrums that can sometimes pop up during day-to-day life. During my last visit to downtown Chico’s used bookstore, aptly named The Bookstore, I was able to get four mental adventures for only $13.

Although I never managed to make it past the “A” section, I now have several Jane Austen escapades waiting to take me to 1800s’ England. No amount of airfare could ever take me there.

Seek, and Ye Shall Find.
One day, I’ll have my big adventures that will take me to distant places to see great things. Until then, I have found that there is plenty to discover all around me. A little observation of my surroundings has turned up all sorts of mini-adventures that quell my adventurer’s appetite and are kind to my bank account as well.

Next up on my adventure list: the Abbey of New Clairvaux and the Genetic Resource and Conservation Center, also known as the “Tree Farm.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Favorite Places to Hit the Slopes

By Shelby Hudak, Assistant Account Executive

Any day skiing on a mountain is a good day to me.  

Whether it is a sunny, warm day on the mountain that makes me want to wear my bikini, or it’s so cold that I feel like I don’t have enough jackets, I love to snow ski. It is something about the feeling of gliding smoothly over snow that makes me so happy.   

It may not have been the season that people expected and wanted.  You may have heard many people complain with disappointment about the late start to the snow season in Tahoe this year.  
To me, snow is snow.  It might not be fresh powder, but it’s still great to ride on.

I have visited a variety of mountains:     

Squaw Valley to some has the reputation of being “Squallywood,” an uppity mountain village lined with million-dollar condos.  This North Shore ski resort prides itself on having hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and definitely has the terrain to prove it.  Squaw has some of the steepest ski slopes in the Tahoe area.

Northstar when compared to Squaw Valley can be known as “Flat Star.” The runs are substantially less difficult than Squaw’s.  When it comes to the terrain park, though, Northstar has one of the highest quality parks in the country with terrain for all ski levels.   In 2000, Northstar added a lookout mountain to increase its number of advanced runs to accommodate the expert skiers and snowboarders. There are also plenty of beginner runs for the people still learning. This is why I think that Northstar is the perfect family resort.     

Alpine Meadows, personally, is my favorite.  It has that local-style flair with little “friss and frills.” I love the short walk from the parking lot to the chairlift, and, most importantly, I love that the lines are sane.  Alpine has this particular area it calls Estelle Bowl that skiers can only get to from hiking.  Estelle Bowl has absolutely incredible snow and is my favorite place to ski.    

Boreal gives out special $15 deals on Fridays to college students and those on active military duty. Boreal is definitely smaller than most of the other mountains. However, it makes up for the lack of terrain with being open late.  Boreal is one of the only places in the region that stays open for night riding.

Homewood may not be as up-to-date with the high-speed chairlift technology as some of the other mountain resorts, but I will argue any day that Homewood has better views of Lake Tahoe than any of the other mountains.  There is nothing like gliding down the mountain while staring into the beautiful distance and seeing Lake Tahoe. 

Snow skiing has been a part of my life since before I can even remember.  It truly is one of my favorite hobbies.  I can’t wait for the next storm to gust over Tahoe and to ski the fresh powder.    

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wait! You Live With How Many People?

By Stephanie Burke, Assistant Account Executive

I never thought that living in a Sigma Kappa sorority house with 17 other people would relate to my major. And no, I am not a psychology major counseling myself to sanity. In my public relations major you have to learn how to work with all different types of people, and living in my crazy household has definitely taught me a few lessons about how to do so.

Returning home from class on a Monday night, for instance, I have two choices of television shows: “Pretty Little Liars” or “The Bachelor.” But then again, since there will be no space on the couch, sometimes I decide it’s better if I just go to my room and do homework. Like working on a PR project where I might not get my ideal choice – I’ve learned sometimes it may still steer me in a better direction and allow me to strengthen my skills.

Growing up I shared a house with two other people, but most of the time I was by myself. Now if I’m home alone, I worry there’s a sorority meeting I’m missing. Living with 17 women in a sorority house seems shocking and impossible to some, but, for me, it’s a constant support system and a home away from home.

Each member of the house takes on a responsibility around the house, whether it be getting the mail or food shopping. Just like working in my Tehama Group Communications PR team, we all have responsibilities and tasks to accomplish. We all (well, some of us) do chores based off of our chore chart, but after that the house still needs some extra sprucing up. That’s where our maids come in.

Our maids have to hate us; they probably have never picked up so much hair in their life. I personally avoid them every Monday when they clean – not because I’m rude but because I feel so bad about our overflowing bathroom trash that I don’t want to look them in the eyes.

Although the house is sometimes dirty and there’s constantly four genres of music blasting from bedrooms, I love living with all my best friends. But what else does living with 17 women have to do with public relations? Two words: team effort.

In public relations you often work as a team to accomplish a given goal, and that’s exactly what I do at my house. Whether it’s moving cars out of the driveway so the car blocked in can get out or cleaning the dinner dishes, we work together to accomplish it.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What is Stop Motion?

By Adam Prieto, Photographer / Videographer 

Have you ever drawn objects on the corners of binder papers or Post-its? Drawing the images slightly different, then bringing them to life by flipping through them with your thumb?

Well, that’s what is called stop-motion animation. It’s a cinematic process or technique that brings static objects to life. You see it everywhere: In Tim Burton’s films such as “Corpse Bride” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” or with the clay humanoid known as Gumby.

Stop-motion animation is nothing new. It can be dated back to Eadweard Muybridge, a well-known 1870s English photographer who conducted a series of motion studies.

It’s fun, easy to do and looks extremely cool. And guess what? I’m going to teach you how to do it. All you need is a camera, computer, and an idea. Beware, though – the process is time consuming, repetitive and requires patience.

Shoot the Animation

You first need an idea, so think of something that would motivate you creatively. Think of what would be exciting to see that isn’t visible in this thing we call “real life.” My example that I am going to provide requires a keyboard and a light fixture for a subtle effect.

After you have an idea, shoot your photos. Pick a vantage point, and subtly move the object after shooting each still frame. Remember, though: Stay consistent and try to keep the vantage points the same. Having a tripod is a big help.

If you make a mistake, then go back and delete the frame. This makes the editing process a lot easier and shorter.

This process is also one of the longest. You can easily take 100 photos for only 10 seconds of animation.

Transfer Photos to the Computer

After you’re done shooting the pictures, transfer the photos to your computer. Since I’m on a Mac, this may vary from user to user. Import the photos to iPhoto and give the album a name. Once you have completed this step, close iPhoto and open iMovie.

Import Photos to iMovie

PC users can download a fairly easy-to-use program called JPGVideo, but for this tutorial I will be using iMovie.

Once you have opened iMovie and named your project, import the photos. This is really easy to do. Click on the “Photos” tab or use the shortcut key, Command–2, and drag the album of stills to the timeline.

Animate the Photos in iMovie

Now that you have your photos in iMovie, you need to tell iMovie how long you want each still to appear before the next. This will only be for a fraction of a second. To do that, press “I” on your keyboard, or go to “Window” then “Clip Adjustments.” It should look like this:

Now that you have that window open, you are going to choose the duration. This is the time each still will be seen before the next. You can think of it as a slideshow, but you are manually speeding it up.

As you can see in figure three, I have it set at a little less than a quarter of a second. At this duration, you are going to see five frames a second. Now you can see why we need to take so many photos! Once you have chosen the duration, check “Applies to all stills.” This is very important, and also saves us a lot of time in the editing process.

We are almost done, so stick with me!

By default, iMovie adds “Ken Burns,” a panning and zooming effect, to all photos. Unless you like the effect, my suggestion is to turn it off.

To do this, select your first clip then scroll down, press and hold “Shift” and select the last clip. Now that all your frames are highlighted, press “C” on you keyboard and then click “Fit.” Once you have done this, click the “Done” tab.

Here’s the exciting part!

Now that you have turned off the Ken Burns, you can view it. Do that by clicking “Play” or pressing the spacebar and … voila! You have created your first stop-motion animation!

Icing on the Cake

You can fine-tune your animation by adding a cool tune to it and slow down or speed up the duration of each frame. To add a song, just choose one from iTunes and drag it to your timeline.

You can also share your work. To do that you will need to export it. Go to “Share,” then “Export Movie.” Choose a size and where you would like it to be saved, then click “Export.”

So that’s it! Don’t forget to save your project as you go along with the editing process – you don’t want to lose that precious time you spent editing!

Some Stop-Motion Examples

Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall

The Story About Stop Motion…told in stop motion.

Rymdreglage – 8-bit trip

Trim Stop Motion: A really cool stop-motion video that includes trimming a beard and artistic expression

Address is Approximate: “A lonely desk toy longs for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street Views.”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Look Alive, Man

By Christina Rafael, Photographer/Videographer

Last week I woke up in a pile of my own drool.

As I awoke, I slowly took in my surroundings. I was about 30 minutes into my hour-long class, laying face down on my backpack. As I looked around the room, I was assured by my classmates that, yes, I had been snoring.

I’d like to say this was the first time this has happened this semester, but I would surely be lying. In fact, I’ve fallen asleep four times this semester in various classes.

With my hectic school schedule, internship, part-time job and brand new puppy, there just seems to be less time for sleep.

It wasn’t until the last snooze, when I l found a zipper indentation on my forehead, that I decided to take defensive action.

If you’re anything like me, caffeine has always been a good friend you count on. My usual morning coffee doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore, so I decided to double my intake ... or triple it.

Although it keeps me awake, the caffeine can sometimes turn me into that annoying student who answers every question in class with zeal – which doesn’t win many popularity contests. I also seem to fidget more, but it sure beats sleeping.

Chew yourself awake.
I’m not sure where I came across this tip, but it definitely works: Whenever you feel yourself slipping into slumber, try to get something cinnamon to chew or suck on, like a stick of Big Red gum. This also works on nights out when feeling less focused.

If you can’t wake up in your seat, go to the bathroom and splash cold water on your face. For women who worry about makeup: Dampen a paper towel and place it over your eyelids. Anything cold against your skin will instantly wake you up.

Induce Pain.
A small amount of pain can sometimes be the push you need to stop snoozing in class. If you feel yourself nodding off, try pulling your hair a bit or pinching your arm. But be discreet – you don’t want people to think you’re insane. A helpful trick I found was to wear a rubber band around your wrist. When you feel like sleep is on its way, pull up on the band and snap yourself awake when you release.

Keep yourself entertained.
If you know that what your teacher is talking about is boring and NOT part of the course (e.g. talking about children, pets or other personal nonsense), it may be helpful to find ways to entertain yourself. One of my favorite things to do is people watch in class.

Many of the students are going through the same dilemma and are trying to wake themselves up; it can be helpful to scan for tips.

I also like to see what everyone is looking at online. Once I found an entire row of people shopping for shoes.

All tips aside, the best way to fight sleep in classrooms is to strive for consistent amounts of

After my incident in class, I made an effort to get to sleep before midnight each night. It’s hard to stick to, especially after closing shifts, but it gets me to my morning meetings. And I no longer have to deal with unwanted drool.