Photo Credits: Sandra Kaas
Picture this: you wake up from a glorious nap, and you look at the time. It’s 1:30 p.m. and it’s still bright outside. All of your classes are already over, and you are ready to do some school work before having the rest of the day to yourself. That doesn’t sound so bad. Taking early classes will provide a better stability for your college experience.
Students have stressful lives. College is not all about parties and having fun. Most of the time, students are either in class or studying, even at night. Surprisingly, late classes are available, some of which end at 10 p.m. Late classes can increase student fatigue and stress, but choosing early classes can avoid all of this. It can reduce the weight of all the work being put on your shoulders and help to ease your mind.
Most students may have other opinions, thinking that this is a terrible idea and wondering what “monster” would want to take a class at eight in the morning. But truthfully, it isn’t as bad as you think. Waking up early means you have the whole day ahead of you. Once your classes are over, you still have multiple hours in the day to do whatever you need. This means you can get a lot of schoolwork done while it is daylight, and still have enough time to yourself later. You can wake up early, finish your classes by lunchtime and then get done whatever you need to do. This will give you less anxiety and lead to less stress.
Early classes make it easier to focus. When you wake up early, you have a clear mind. You feel refreshed, ready for a new day and prepared to learn. I know from experience that getting an early start on the day has helped me to concentrate more and has guided me to get my assignments done. Focusing is easier while it is still daylight out, since it feels like you still have plenty of the day left once you finish an assignment. This can also increase productivity. When I finish all of my classes, it is still early in the day, and I don’t want to go back to my dorm because I know I will just relax for a while. So some days, I decide to go to the library instead and spend a few hours getting work done. This is a strategy that I have used many times and has really helped me.
Choosing early classes is good practice for life after college. Most likely, when you get a job, they will expect you to come in bright and early and stay until late at night. Waking up early for classes is a great habit to start getting into, which will help prepare you for adulthood. When waking up in the morning, you will most likely fall into a routine to help prepare you for the day. This is also something that you would do when you get a job. You must plan when it is best for you to wake up and when to get ready, eat breakfast and leave for the day.
One of the best things about taking early classes is definitely the peaceful environment. When you are up in the morning, barely anyone is on campus. Not many students want to take early classes, so it’s nice to take a stroll down the empty and quiet streets. The quiet time is perfect for you to prepare before your class. I know from experience that those early morning walks have been one of the best parts of my college career — so far. Not to mention you don’t have to spend hours looking for a parking spot. If you commute or live off-campus, finding a parking space can be such a hassle in the middle of the day. I remember I once needed to head to a class I had early but decided to sleep in instead, which was a huge mistake. I spent 45 minutes trying to find a space and ended up being late to class. If you don’t want to take the “walk of shame” of coming in late and having students stare at you as you sit down, I suggest getting an earlier start to the day.
Early classes can also deliver better grades. Your mindset will be in a better place, which can greatly impact your GPA. If you are having trouble with your grades or confused about something you are learning, you can always go to your professor for help, regardless of when your classes are. Furthermore, since professors’ office hours vary throughout the day, having early classes gives you the advantage of being done early, giving you a higher chance of meeting them during those times.
Some students have told me they appreciate the extra time to rest or prepare for the day. Others have stated that they prefer to sleep in and have more time to themselves, which is totally understandable. I am explaining how this strategy helps me and may help other people, but it is totally fine if others do not feel the same way.
The main point of this is to identify the best way to prepare for a great college experience, which can be influenced by scheduling early classes, being focused and organized and planning for the future. This will lead to a stress-reducing semester and can prepare you for a better life.
Taking early classes is the way to go. Your college experience will greatly improve. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, it will surely help in the long run. But if you are ever doubting yourself about morning classes just remember, sometimes earlier is better.
Michael Leach is a second-year Media & Culture major with a minor in Music Production. ML954692@wcupa.edu