How to Survive College as a Night Owl

Haunting your apartment like a ghost after everyone else has gone to bed? Check. Preferring to work the closing shift rather than the opening shift? Check. Getting the random idea to completely rearrange your entire room at 3 a.m.? Check.


If any of the above scenarios apply to you: congratulations! You’re a fellow night-owl. Welcome to Club Nocturnal.

  1. 1. Create a schedule that works for you

    A picture of a waning gibbous moon.

    One of the many beauties of college is that you’re in charge of your own schedule. This means you can take classes at times that best suit your individual sleep schedule and productivity. I’m most productive in the evenings, so I like to schedule my classes in the late morning or early afternoon. This way, I can sleep in later, attend class, and still have the energy to complete homework afterward.

  2. 2. Get eight hours of sleep


    I get it. What hath the night to do with sleep? But being a night owl doesn’t mean we don’t need sleep at all. We still need to aim for those recommended eight hours! Establish a fixed bedtime that allows you to get a full night’s sleep and stick to it. This way, you're rested and ready to go when it’s time to wake up. Your brain and attendance grades will thank you.

  3. 3. Eat three times a day

    Because I sleep so late into the mornings, I tend to skip out on breakfast, and I’m not the only one. It doesn’t seem like a big deal at the time, until you’ve had lunch and dinner and you’re wondering why you’re still hungry when midnight hits. Our bodies need food to stay nourished and energized. Try to eat at least three times a day, whether it’s a quick apple and granola bar in the morning, or meal-prepping so you’ll have food available for late-night grubbing.

  4. 4. Prepare for early mornings in advance

    There is nothing a night owl hates more than an upcoming early morning obligation. They’re bound to pop up, so be prepared when they do. In the days leading up to it, practice heading to a few hours earlier to adjust. The night before, complete all your assignments, make sure everything you need is in your bag, and turn in early for the night. The morning ahead of you will not be so daunting!

  5. 5. Make the best of the night hours

    Netflix title screen

    I enjoy the nighttime because, as an introvert, it’s the only time when I can truly cater to myself and my interests. If you’re going to be up late, you might as well spend that time doing something that benefits you! Whether it’s getting ahead on an assignment, working on a personal project, or binge-watching that new Netflix original, make the best of those hours after dark.

With all that said, cheers to the college night owls! Here’s to good grades and endless 2 a.m. epiphanies!