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While my morning routine from high school to college has shifted—from early morning work shifts to 8ams to waking up past noon after a night out—the one thing that has stayed constant has been my priority eating breakfast.

In college, we’re all extremely busy and constantly on the go. Due to this, one of the first things that people ditch for the sake of saving time is, unfortunately: breakfast. I’ve heard people say numerous times how they “only had coffee for breakfast” or “didn’t have enough time” to make breakfast in the morning because they’re madly dashing out the door for their first class or morning shift.

This is all too common of a mindset that I’ve heard throughout my college experience and I’m here to argue against it and advocate for a morning routine that includes making breakfast.

Skipping breakfast can heighten the risk of several health issues from an increase in blood sugar levels, hormone deregulation and a slowed metabolism. It can also hinder your brain function and productivity as well as just make you feel sluggish and “hangry” in the morning.

Even though I do try and prioritize breakfast in the morning, I can’t lie and say that I’m perfect every day. Sometimes I do hit snooze a little too long and realize that if I don’t get up in the next 5 minutes, I’ll miss my bus for my first class. But on these mornings when I run late and don’t prioritize myself and my morning routine, I notice a difference. I can’t focus on my lectures or assignments, I feel on edge, and I definitely get “hangry.” I’ve realized that eating in the morning is a crucial part of my day and a crucial part of having a good day.

My sophomore year roommates can attest to the fact that for two whole semesters I would make peanut butter banana oatmeal and a coffee with vanilla almond milk creamer almost every morning. That would be my daily routine and even though what I make for breakfast has changed this semester, I recognize that eating in the morning is an essential part of my day.

I’m not saying that an elaborate, expensive breakfast that takes over half an hour is needed. Instead, making simple staples that you know you’ll love can help kick-start your morning. Many nights I’ll go to sleep looking forward to the next day, simply because I get to make my breakfast and have that time in the morning set aside just for me. Easy-to-make foods like oatmeal with fruit, a bagel with cream cheese, or a berry smoothie can all go a long way in starting your day off right.

Having a non-rushed routine in the morning can do wonders for your mental and physical health; you don’t even have to wake up more than 15 minutes earlier than you already do. But, it’s time to prioritize yourself and your health and you can start with breakfast. I like to set aside 15-30 minutes to slowly wake up, make my morning meal and coffee, and do something for myself like yoga or watching a new YouTube video.

I think it’s time we stop normalizing skipping breakfast and having coffee as a meal because it’s not doing ourselves or anyone else any good. A good day starts with a good breakfast, so I think we should all start prioritizing our morning routine because I know I will—and I’ll keep having my peanut butter banana oatmeal and coffee as long as it keeps me excited for the next day.

Sylvia Mack

Virginia Tech '24

Sylvia is a junior at Virginia Tech studying Communications with a double minor in Sociology and Event and Experience Management.