Thursday, February 21, 2013

Surviving an 8 a.m.

Before I started college, I vowed that I would never, ever, ever take an 8 a.m. class. I am the complete opposite of a morning person, preferring to sleep until noon rather than start my day early. Even after four years of waking up at 4 a.m for debate tournaments, I still struggle getting out of bed before eleven (I know, sad).

This semester, however, I was forced to take an 8 a.m. class. It's a journalism class, and is a pre-requisite for every other journalism class I need to take for my major. Therefore, I had to take it this semester, or I would be behind for at least a semester (and what if it wasn't offered next semester? Then what would I do?).

No matter what time your classes are in college, they're always too early. So, to avoid being miserable for a whole semester, here are a few tips for surviving an 8 a.m.

  • Get a good night's sleep. I know that's asking a lot, especially in college, and I don't expect everyone to clock a full 8 hours every night. But if you're going to bed at 4 a.m every night and waking up at 7, you're only hurting yourself. Try to do work between classes and during breaks, rather than trying to rush through ten assignments in a few hours. Also, don't go out every weeknight. It's only going to cause you trouble. 
  • Eat. You don't have to wake up extra early for a full-course meal. Grab something on your way to class; most professors will let you eat in class, especially at such an early hour. I usually grab a granola bar and one of those bottled frappucino's, or stop at one of the coffee places on campus. If you don't have time before class, grab something right after. Just make sure you eat so you're not cranky and hungry the rest of the morning.
  • Do your work before class. I know sometimes you can put off homework until the day of, but nobody can do work effectively at 7 in the morning. Get your homework, at least for your early classes, done the night before at the latest.
  • Get everything ready the night before. Lay out your clothes (especially if you're like me and still want to look cute at 8 a.m.), put everything in your backpack, and make sure everything is ready to grab and go in the morning.
  • Pay attention. I know it's hard, but you're still there to learn. Drifting off or staring at your phone will only make you more tired. Listen to your professor, take good notes, participate in discussions, and generally be involved in the class.
As much as I complain about getting up early, I really enjoy my 8 a.m. class. I love being a journalism major, my professor is experienced and fun, and I'm making friends in the class. Try to enjoy all your classes, not just the early ones, and it'll make getting out of bed a little easier every morning.

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