December 27th, 2010 Jamie
At the beginning of the school year I posted a poll that let you share your top dreads about the back-to-class months. Coming in at #2 (trailing only 1% behind HOMEWORK itself) was having to get up for class.
I’m with you–it’s the worst! There is something really hard about rolling out of bed with only the prospect of class to look forward to. I hope these tips will help you get through the early-morning drag.
1. Schedule Classes Later. First things first: do NOT schedule a class for a time when you don’t think you can be up, ready, and out the door. After choosing an early morning class my first quarter at UCSD (one during which I almost always fell asleep), I quickly learned that I couldn’t make it to class coherent and ready to learn before 9am. So when you’re choosing next semester’s classes, pay attention to the times!
2. Bring a Friend. Scheduling a class with a friend means you are twice as likely to show up, because (hopefully) both your alarms will go off. Chances are one of you will make it out of bed! Getting a call from a friend (or stopping by to pick them up on the way to class) will give you both a second chance in case you hit snooze one too many times (and someone to watch your back so you don’t sleep through a test). Not to mention seeing a buddy is a little extra motivation to get to class.
3. Work With Your Roommate. Got a roommate whose bright-and-early prep practices drive you nuts when you’re trying to sleep in? Use it to your advantage! Consider timing your morning classes around your roomie’s, and get up and ready around the same time (just plan ahead so you don’t fight over the shower).
4. Get More Sleep. I know its hard to make yourself go to bed–especially when people seem to be awake and doing something interesting at all hours of the night in college–but going to bed a little earlier will (obviously) help your body get the rest it needs to recharge you for the morning. (Harvard Med shares some tips to help you improve your sleep.)
5. Set Your (Internal) Clock. Our bodies naturally tend toward self-scheduling; they get tired, hungry, etc. at about the same time everyday. In my experience, you can “teach” your body when to be alert and when to be sleepy–but it will take consistency and practice. If you want to learn to get up earlier, you’ll have to force yourself to do it as often as humanly possible–that’s the only way to train your body to wake up for 8am class instead of sleeping until noon. (Learn more about your internal clock here.)
And while we’re talking about sleep, why not check out these tips to help you stay awake during class (without resorting to a caffeine regiment).
Photo by Georgios Wollbrecht
Entry Filed under: academics