Becoming a morning person at university

Becoming an early riser doesn’t quite fit with the stereotype of a student being more sloth than human, barely able to drag themselves from their beds for a 1pm lecture. Although a bit of an exaggeration, stereotypes are often there for a reason, and this one does ring true to an extent – for proof, pay a visit to the Information Commons at 10 and then at 2. You’ll see quite a remarkable difference in numbers, despite the mere 4 hours in between.

The simple fact is that students, like the teenagers we were not so long ago, don’t like getting up early. Regardless of the fact that after we graduate we’ll have to do it 5 days a week anyway, and never mind the importance of your 10am seminar – that extra hour (or two, or three) of sleep is always, always more appealing to your tired brain at half past eight in the morning.

But there comes a time in every student’s university career when you start to wonder why you’re always tired, always late, always missing your lectures. It’s not exactly a perfect, painless solution, but it’s worth trying to get up that little bit earlier in the mornings.

Having a bit more time in the mornings means you don’t have to be in such a rush to start your day – you can take it slow and do it at your own pace. Instead of grabbing a cereal bar, who says you can’t spend 20 minutes over breakfast? And it’s a lifesaver if you haven’t finished that 9am seminar reading… You also won’t stumble into your lectures, still half-asleep and wishing you were back in bed – instead, you’ll be fully woken up by that point and in the right frame of mind to take in as much as possible. Once this becomes routine, in fact, you’ll find yourself going to bed earlier in the evenings to compensate, your sleep cycle shifting to accommodate the earlier mornings, and suddenly you won’t feel as groggy and sleep-deprived in the mornings anymore, making it easier.

Well, this all sounds pretty good on paper. But it won’t at seven tomorrow morning, will it? Make things easier for yourself by packing your bag the night before, and maybe even leaving your clothes for the next day out too. As soon as you wake up, turn on the light or open the curtains, as this will help you feel more alert pretty much straight away. Make sure to eat something for breakfast, and then caffeine can be a lifesaver if you’re really struggling.

And then, if this still isn’t working, think of the positive benefits you’ll receive if you just get up now. You’re already awake, so you may as well! Trust me, before long you’ll be glad you started getting up early, and will annoy all your friends by preaching about the benefits of it!

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