Ah, the dreaded 8 a.m. class. You’re sure to encounter it at least once in the span of your college education. Being in the health science field, I’ve come across many in my day. Between the early morning labs and sunrise lectures, it’s safe to say I’ve adjusted to the morning person schedule whether I wanted to or not. If you’re stuck in a myriad of early morning classes, here’s some strategies to get you all bright-eyed and bushy tailed! Or, at least semi-awake with the sleep crusties wiped away from your eyes.
Step 1: Prep. The night before, gather up all your supplies for the following day and put it in your backpack. This has saved my butt from rushing to my class only to realize that I still have all the textbooks from the previous day in my bag. Plus, it gives you a few extra moments of precious, precious sleep. It’s also preventing the chaotic morning scramble to get ready for the day, giving you an illusion of having your life in order.
Step 2: Do NOT hit that snooze button! When I had a solid week of nothing but 8 a.m. classes, I made an oath to myself not to hit the snooze on my alarm. I woke up and got out of bed as soon as that first alarm sounded. I found that if I chose to take a little siesta in-between alarms, I would be even groggier and unable to wake up. So take the great Nicki Minaj’s advice and Pound the Alarm.
Step 3: Find a reason to wake up in the morning. Okay, okay this sounded a bit dramatic, but if you’re looking forward to something occurring in your day, it motivates you to get up and get out of bed! It could be as simple as feeding your cat or drinking your coffee. Or, if you’re like me, your main source of motivation is promising yourself naps later in the day. Whatever gives you that source of intrinsic motivation. You do you, boo.
Step 4: Wake up. Drink (some water, tea or coffee). As soon as your bunny-slipper clad feet touch the floor, head straight to your kitchen and pour yourself a big glass of your preferred beverage. If you think about it, while you’re asleep, that’s 6-8 hours of your body not receiving adequate hydration. It’s important to re-hydrate your body as soon as you wake up because it jump-starts your system. This means you’ll feel more awake faster!
Step 5: Play some music. While you’re puttering around your room getting ready for the day, slap on your favorite playlist (unless you share a place with a sleeping roommate–then I suggest headphones). Feel free to dance around a little bit or rehearse your set for when you’re on Jimmy Fallon’s lip sync battle. Moving around and listening to your favorite songs gets blood pumping and releases endorphin hormones. As Elle Woods taught us, “endorphins make you happy,” so you’ll be starting your morning off on the right foot.
Step 6: Become a master of the grab-and-go breakfast. I remember back in high school I thought I was too cool to eat breakfast (oh, the silly things we believed in our youth). I would be sitting in my 11 a.m. English class famished, my stomach orchestrating its own little symphony of grumbles. I have since learned from those days. I always keep easy things to munch on right by the door so I can grab it for my commute to class. Between my roommates and myself, we have a nice little stash of bananas, protein bars, breakfast smoothies and chocolate milk ready for our convenience. The average college weekdays are LONG. You need to fuel up so you don’t crash. Eat a little somethin’ somethin’ to keep yourself alert and oriented.
If you adhere to all these tips, not only will you slowly become a morning person, but you’ll also avoid being that guy who rolls up to your 8 a.m. class still in your pajamas. So save yourself from that embarrassing scenario and give these tips a try!