Some think that early morning classes won’t be a big deal. You just finished with high school where you had to be up by 6 or 7 for an 8 or 9 AM school day, right? Or earlier if you had before-school activities. An 8 AM college class doesn’t sound all that intimidating…
But college classes are a different beast than high school. Before, you had an 8-hour long solid school day. That’s not the case in college. You might have an 8 o’clock class, followed by a gap of time before your 12:30 class. With less sleep and more responsibilities, morning classes become a waking nightmare (unless, perhaps, you’re just lucky enough to be a morning person).
So how do you deal with early morning classes? How do you pay attention and avoid falling asleep? These pieces of advice don’t just apply to freshmen, of course, but for every college student who finds themselves with an early class. Read on for some tips to get through the morning.
Get plenty of sleep
Rare is the college student who gets enough sleep. With the newfound freedom and independence of living on your own, you get to set your on bedtime…or more likely stay up way past any decent bedtime as you socialize or study. Still, try your best to maintain a reasonable and consistent sleeping pattern. If you’re well-rested, it becomes easier to roll out of bed in the morning and head off to class.
Of course, you’ll sort of have to coordinate a sleep-schedule with your roommate. It’s usually pretty hard to catch some shut-eye if the lights are on and the TV is blaring a movie or something, or if your roomie is Skyping their best friend from home at two in the morning (I may or may not be speaking from experience here). Try to work out a lights-out time for weekdays and weekends, and always be courteous to each other.
Set multiple alarms
Oh Snooze button, you tempting mistress. The urge to delay waking up is hard to resist, if you can avoid it, great! If not, set multiple alarms. Two or three times should do the trick. Though try not to pick too obnoxious of an alarm-tone and bother your roommate. (I had a roomie who had that blaring code-red-disaster sort of alarm that went off at least four times before she got up.)
Better yet, keep your alarm out of arm’s reach
If you have to physically get out of bed to reach the alarm–whether it’s a clock or your phone–you’re more likely to stay up. I kept my alarm on the desk beneath my lofted bed, so I’d have to kick off the covers, climb down the ladder, and get to the desk before shutting it off. Being on my feet made it much easier to get ready in the morning.
Caffeine fix and breakfast on-the-go
You will not believe the amount of Starbucks cups you will see in morning lecture classes. Classmates, TAs, and Professors alike need a little bit of caffeine to get the ball rolling. Another way to shake off the sleepiness and keep up your energy is to eat breakfast. Whether you take the time to have a bowl of cereal and some toast, or just grab a granola bar and banana before dashing off to class, getting some food in your system will help keep you alert and awake.
Sit in the front
If you’re worried about falling asleep or even just dozing off, sit in the front row of your class. Being smack dab in front of your professor will chase away any tempting thoughts of chasing some extra Z’s. Plus, nobody wants to be the guy who falls asleep in lecture and starts to snore (yes, it does happen and it’s hilarious).
Armed with these tips, shake off the sleepiness and head off to class. You can’t spend your entire college career in bed, after all.