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I’ve been a morning person for as long as I can remember. My natural clock has me in bed by 11 (buzzkill, I know) and up by 7. Even though college is very night-owl dominated, I can’t imagine any other schedule.

So, what makes the morning so great? Time. The morning, like late night, is a perfect space for self-care, hobbies and enjoying the moment. Here are my morning habits that make the A.M my favorite part of the day.

  1. Avoid Your Phone First Thing in the AM: You know that thing where you wake up feeling fine, but then you check your phone to see the most depressing news story you can imagine and eight different conversations to check in on? Yeah, that’s the opposite of a good way to start your day. An immediate slam of notifications can take away happy vibes quickly. Give yourself time to wake up and calibrate. It doesn’t have to be long… even the five minutes it takes to clean your face can be huge. Plus, if you’re up early, there probably isn’t anything urgent.
  2. Journal: I didn’t journal for years because it felt like such a huge commitment. Plot twist: it doesn’t have to be. Once you find a format that works for you, journaling is a quick and fun way to fight morning scaries. My personal set-up is writing down three things I’m excited for in the day (ex. “They have ice cream at the dining hall today”, “I’m getting lunch with *friend name here*”, and “I have a class with my favorite professor”). It takes five minutes and can get you truly pumped to conquer the day.
  3. Consider Becoming A Morning Shower Person: I put this in a similar category as journaling. It’s quiet time alone to wake up and think about the day. If you want more of a hype-up kind of morning, maybe a shower speaker with some music? Remember, most of the hall is still asleep… no one is there to judge your song choice!
  4. Take Your Time With Skincare and Makeup: Putting on serums, moisturizers, and whatever else you need can feel like a chore when you’re busy. But applying products with consideration can become a bit of a ritual when you have time. Turn on some calming music or a meditation, and really take the time with each step. This is true for makeup as well. Instant confidence boost!
  5. Eat! Breakfast!: Not-so-fun fact: 75% of people don’t eat breakfast daily (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1311280/days-per-week-consumers-in-the-us-eat-breakfast/). I’m here to tell you that is NOT the move. Eating breakfast wakes you up, gives you energy till lunch, and helps with moodiness. Even if you just grab a bagel or granola bar, it’s huge for your physical and mental health. Eating is especially important if you drink coffee… caffeine on an empty stomach is a no-go. If you don’t feel like cooking or have no food in your dorm, venture to the dining hall; it’s normally empty! I love my school’s omelet station.
  6. Check In With Long-Distance Friends and Family: Remembering to text/call/Snap/whatever friends and family off campus can be hard to remember. With how busy college can be (classes! Clubs! Internships!), it’s no wonder your brain can blank on stuff happening that far away. Extra time in the morning is an excellent opportunity to say hi before your days get busy. I text my mom and best friend from home to see what they’re up to and let them know I’m thinking of them.
  7. Enjoy A (Slightly More) Empty World: Ok, now that you’re ready for the day… what now? Anything! The world moves at a slower pace in the morning. Empty library! Empty gym! Empty stores! Empty everywhere! It also helps that you have extra time to work if need be; no more panicking because you haven’t touched your laptop at noon. Waking up early is also great if you have time for work but are trying to put in more “me” time; sometimes, a little less sleep is less harmful than the fun time is beneficial.

Those are the morning habits that have made me a lifelong morning person. I hope you try them and see if it makes your day a bit better and easier. I’ll see you in the A.M!

Victoria is a sophomore journalism major at the University of New Hampshire. She loves writing, traveling, and learning.