Why am I doing this? What am I doing with my life? the answers to my existential crises are not in the cup of coffee I’m staring at, but at 7:40 a.m., I can’t help but question my sanity on the day I chose my 8 a.m.’s. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I take on Linear Algebra at 8:00 a.m. sharp, and on Tuesday and Thursday I question my mental stability on the way to Calculus III, also at 8:00. While I constantly wish I could sleep in, I know that 8 a.m.’s were the best option for me. If you’re not sure whether 8 a.m.’s are the right choice for you, I’ve compiled the pros and cons of them to help you evaluate what’s best.
You finish your classes early
This is the most appealing thing for me. Since I work part time, I have the entire afternoon to get through a shift at work and do homework or study, all before I hit the ridiculous morning hours of 2-4 a.m. On top of that, I’m done by noon on Fridays, which honestly is the best and also leads to my second point of…
If you’re like me, Friday afternoons are for napping. Once I finish class at 11:50, I eat lunch and then snuggle on the giant beanbag in my room and nap. I only do this on Fridays because the other afternoons in the week are crazy busy for me, but I will always make an effort to squeeze in an afternoon nap if time is available. Disclaimer: it is recommended to nap for 20-30 minutes so as to not interrupt your sleep schedule, but at this point, I’m too tired to care. Sleep on! Another alternative to this is to get homework done early in the day so you can go to bed early, but Netflix is way too addicting for this alternative to be realistic.
Increased productivity throughout the day
Finishing class at noon gives you the opportunity to be more productive as you have longer chunks of time to sit down and get homework cranked out. There is nothing worse than finally getting a rhythm to your homework and then having to stop to go to class. On top of that, having afternoon classes reduces the amount of time in the day you do homework, because honestly, who would get up before class to do studying? Knocking out the classes at the start of the day gives you so much more time to get things done.
More regulated sleep schedule
Staying up until 3 a.m. binge-watching “New Girl” is not an option for 8 a.m.-ers. Also, having daily 8 a.m.’s has made my body used to getting up at that time, so my sleep schedule is way more regulated, and I fall asleep faster and sleep better. However, this works for me because I am a morning person, so I prefer going to bed early. Conversely…
Less Sleep Overall
For those that are night owls or that love ending the night watching TV or a movie, waking up for an 8 a.m. usually translates into less sleep. This can have a serious effect on your physical and psychological well-being. While I try to get to bed at a decent time, weeks where I have several tests result in late nights and early mornings, meaning tons of caffeine and an overall feeling of zombie-ness.
You have to get up early
I think the worst part of an 8 a.m. is the strength of the emotions that I feel when my alarm goes off. Nothing elicits a faster reaction of rage and anger in me than the sound “Radar” from my phone at 7 in the morning. On top of that, being exhausted makes it so easy to fall asleep in class, especially if the class is an extremely boring one. All these feelings are so difficult to cope with in an early morning class.
You may potentially become addicted to coffee
This honestly is not even a con and I should have put this in the pro’s. Coffee is amazing.
Roommates that have 9:30, 10:00, 11:30 classes
There is no emotion stronger than the envy you feel towards your roommate or suitemates who get up after you’re already done with your first class. Why must life be unfair? Also, I speak from experience when I say that getting ready in the dark is a miserable experience and should be avoided at all costs. Even worse, roommates that have later classes most likely stay up later, and if they aren’t quiet when getting ready for bed then you’ll probably be woken up by them.
Going out on a weeknight? Haha, right. Whatever you choose to do with your evenings, 8:00 a.m.’s get worse the later you stay out. For most, going out is not even an option, which is a bummer when all your friends decide last minute to go do something and you get to experience it through watching Snapchat stories the next day. The brave souls that do go out face a monster of a morning the next day with less sleep than usual. In general, 8 a.m.’s are not friendly to a social life.
If you still are hesitant as to whether you want to take 8 a.m.’s or not, the correct choice is probably the latter. Being miserable in an 8 a.m. is an experience I would recommend avoiding, if possible. However, if you think it will work for you, try it! Taking an early class works for me not only because I am a morning person but because one of my 8 a.m.’s was the only open time for a certain course. Furthermore, some majors have required classes that only take place at eight. My final point is this: if you do decide to take an 8 a.m., coffee is your best friend.