Now this is what I call pure genius. Why didn’t I think of this when I was a college student struggling to stay awake all night? As you can see in the pictures, these Chinese university students have resorted to tying up their hair using clothespins. Every time they nod off, the pins will pull on their hair, jerking them awake.
The technique became popular after two students at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in Fujian province uploaded pictures of themselves on Weibo. Chen Tang, 20 and her roommate Huang Lu, 21, had been struggling with a huge workload and needed a quick fix to fight the urge to nap.
They had tried the regular methods – caffeine, push-ups and cranking up the air-conditioning – but none of that worked. That’s when they decided to hit the history books for a solution. Chen and Huang read about two famous Chinese scholars who practiced extreme methods to keep their minds alert.
One would stab himself with needles every time he started to get drowsy, while the other would tie his hair to a beam in the ceiling so that it pulled every time he nodded off. Chen saw merit in the second method and decided to give it a try.
“Chen is so keen to succeed that she decided to give the hair trick a try, as you can see her hair is more than long enough,” said Huang, who posted the pictures online. “As we didn’t have a beam in our dorm, she used the clothes dryer and claims it worked really well.”
Chen said that the trick helped her clear her mind. She plans to use it more often in the future. “The preparation is boring, but the hanging hair practice makes it interesting and I really feel much more energetic by studying this way,” she said.
After Huang put up the pictures, the hair-hanging technique seems to have gone viral. Weibo is now full of photographs of Chinese students emulating Chen. Some of them used clothespins and others used scarves. There’s even this one girl with a noose tied around her neck, and another guy sniffing his shoe– I suppose they will do just about anything to avoid failing.