Food is honestly something worth waking up early for in itself, but breakfast can also be a bit of a social event. Catch up on the hottest weekend drama with friends or get a coffee with your TA to better understand a particular class. These early morning outings are sure to set one in the direction for a great day ahead. Did I mention that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
2. The people in the class
This can be a hit or miss — 8 a.m. classes seem to draw an interesting mix of people. From the all-nighter zombies to the radiant morning people, these differences in personalities can either make a class monumentally tiring or surprisingly energizing, but it also depends on the professor — see tip three. Nevertheless, an early-morning class promises a diverse group of people, which is certain to make the class more interesting and fun.
3. The professor understands
Speaking from personal experience, most professors understand that the majority of their students in 8 a.m. classes are sleep-deprived and caffeine-fueled individuals who probably didn't get much of a choice in their class scheduling. Additionally, have you considered that the professor doesn’t want to be teaching a class at 8 a.m. either? Who knows — they could be more accepting of lower efforts from their students because they would rather be sleeping as well.
4. Morning coffee
It doesn't matter if you drink hot or iced coffee, the bittersweet taste of a fresh cup just hits different in the early hours of the morning. Caffeine junkies can join each other in line to get their preferred morning cocktail of liquid Starbucks energy — a great wake-up call to lighten up the mood for an awesome day ahead.
5. Smaller class size
This is the unspoken benefit of electing to take a class at the most undesirable time — there will certainly be less people in the 8 a.m. versus the 2 p.m. section. It gives you the chance to interact directly with the professor, and it makes it easier to join the conversation in discussion sections. Smaller classes can also cultivate a close-knit squad instead of the typical isolating big lecture atmosphere.
6. Train yourself for the rush of finals season
As a student at the University, it is a well-known fact that finding the optimal study space in your library of choice is nearly impossible during finals season. However, those who dedicate themselves to the early morning grind are sure to win the race to claim that study room with soundproof walls. Reserving rooms sometimes just won’t cut it.
7. Become a morning person
Morning people are a rare and elusive breed, but becoming a morning person is not as difficult as it seems. Taking an early class nearly guarantees becoming accustomed to an early morning trek to class. According to wellness experts, being a morning person comes with a healthy assortment of benefits, including higher productivity and better sleep. Basically, being a morning person can make you a better college student. Who doesn't want that?
8. Enjoy the sunrise in the winter months
Waking up before the sun has completely risen can feel magical — the orange and pink hues are a refreshing change of pace from an overcast Charlottesville grey. The long shadows cast across the Lawn and the early songs of birds in spring simultaneously serve as idyllic scenery and company for an early-morning walk to class. It’s a guarantee that you’ll be prepared for that day’s weather — once the sun rises, it can only get warmer.
9. Never “waste” an entire morning
Getting an early start to the day is a great way to take advantage of this crazy thing called “daylight.” Being awake earlier includes a plethora of benefits — you can be first in line at Rising Roll or actually show up to your professor’s office hours. One of my biggest mistakes so far at the University was choosing to take all of my classes in the afternoon — this made me feel a lot of regret when I slept in rather than taking advantage of my time.
10. Plot twist — more sleep
Taking an 8 a.m. class is a great opportunity to get all of your classes done in the morning, which is an extreme advantage because you have more time throughout the day for extracurriculars and homework, allowing you to get an adequate amount of sleep at nighttime. This also means that you can take a siesta in the middle of the day without having to set an alarm to get to your 3 p.m. on time.