My first college schedule was awesome. I got my mom’s approval on it, which is kind of a family tradition. When she went to college, my grandmother put her schedule together in the most magical way: my mom was done with classes by noon and had Fridays off. The first time she told me about that schedule, I knew I had to follow in her footsteps (I have a tendency to follow in my moms footsteps which is why I debated becoming an English major for a while and why I played the flute for seven years, but I digress).
My schedule first semester went like this: Monday and Wednesday I had class from 8-10, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-12:30 and Friday from 8-11. This semester it’s almost identical, except for the fact that I have class from 8-11 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s really not as bad as you think. To prove it to you here are my top 3 reasons for taking morning classes and my top 3 tips for surviving them.
Why I Take Morning Classes…
You can use morning classes as a way to go to bed early without seeming weird for not being as social as other people. I don’t know about you but I love sleep. Like if I had to choose between money, chocolate, and sleep, I would probably choose sleep. Most doctors recommend that at my age, we get about 9 hours of sleep and I follow that rule. I am in bed by 10pm and let me tell you it is great. If you’re like me and miss using the excuse “my mom said no” to get out of plans, you can now just say “sorry I have class in the morning, I need to go to bed” and nobody will question you! (It’s also a great way to keep yourself on a healthy sleep schedule but that’s not as important)
You have the rest of the day to yourself once you’re done with classes. No more rushing to fit in meeting with your teacher for office hours in between your busy schedule. You have time to seize the day! Last semester, I was always free for lunch plans. Literally always. Plus, you can do your homework during the day while your friends are in class and use the night to binge watch The X-Files before it goes off Netflix. (More information coming about managing your homework during the day)
It gives you a reason to get out of bed and lets you have the day to yourself without feeling overwhelmed. I deal with some fairly severe anxiety and it’s often really difficult for me to find the motivation to get out of bed. Even if I didn’t have anxiety, I would struggle to find the motivation to get started with my day with enough time to get ready and be productive even before I need to go to class (especially in the winter when it’s cold and windy). Having morning classes forces you to get started early, and then carry that motivation throughout the day!
…And How I Survive Them
I am not ashamed to embrace my love of napping to motivate myself to go to class. Sure I wake up early, but I can catch up on sleep later. Yes, napping can sometimes be a way to avoid work and can be considered a bad use of your time, but when I take a nap during the day I always feel like I can manage it because of how much time I have left in my day. Why not take a nap from 11-12:30 if I still have hours of free time afterwards.
Try to stay active and stay as far away from your dorm as possible. Your dorm seems like the perfect place to study, right? The quiet study area is just close enough for you to go back and grab materials you may have forgotten but far enough for you to avoid the comforts of your bed…at least that’s what you think. The reality is, you need to get yourself up and out. I like to take everything with me for the day and not come back until I’ve completed a certain amount of things. Sometimes you need to go grab food or go to FitRec to work up some energy, but that’s okay! I live in Kilachand Hall, all the way and East Campus, and I try to walk at least to the School of Theology Library to get some work done. If I’m feeling really motivated, I go to the 26th floor of StuVi or the College of General Studies Lounge and I take a walk through Brookline on my way there; that way I’m getting outside and getting exercise, but I have a stopping point.
Stay organized as much as possible. Lay out your clothes the day before, pack your backpack, and set as many alarms as possible. My alarms go off in 15 minute increments from about 6:45 to 7:30 and I’m not ashamed. It does help that my roommate is either never there when I wake up and when she is, she is a very deep sleeper. Even if I don’t find the motivation to lay out your clothes, at least have a rough idea of an outfit you could put on so you’re not scrambling. The most useful thing I can suggest, however, is to pack your backpack the night before and charge your computer. You’ll thank me for that one.