Your Guide to Becoming a Morning Person: Even if You Have an 8 a.m.

We’ve all been there; running out the door of our dorm on an empty stomach and unbrushed hair. Maybe you overslept, laid in bed for too long or just had to watch the six videos your best friend DM'ed you on Twitter last night. It seems like no matter how early you wake up, your morning routine is perfectly timed so that you leave for class five minutes after you’re supposed to. As a result, you feel rushed, stressed and unprepared for the day.  Below, I have compiled a list to ensure you can maximize your sleep, prepare for the day and still get to class on time, whether you have early classes every day or never have to leave your room before noon.

  1. Finish your work the night before.  At some point, usually very late at night on a Wednesday, every student has told themselves to throw in the towel, watch an episode of Gilmore Girls and finish the assignment in the morning. While it may sound like a good idea at the time, I ask you this- if you don’t want to do the assignment right now, why do you think you’ll want to do it in the morning? It’s inevitable that if you put off your studying until the hour before class, you’ll face one of three outcomes: you’ll oversleep and not have time to do it, the assignment will take longer than you expected or you’ll end up having to rush and churn out sub-par work. In any of these cases, you begin your day feeling frazzled and stressed. Avoid this by making sure everything that needs to be done in the morning is finished by the time you get in bed.
  2. Prepare everything you can the night before. In addition to homework, there are multiple little things you can do in the evening to make your morning routine run smoothly. Lay out your clothes in advance, put your books in your backpack and place water and your favorite K-cup in your Keurig. Your groggy self will thank you in the morning when you don’t have to spend ten minutes rifling through the drawer for that specific pair of jeans.
  3. Establish a nighttime routine. Better sleep means more energy and more energy means more efficiency. Establishing a nighttime routine is a great way to tell your body it’s time to wind down. Even a simple, 15-minute sequence like putting your phone away, taking a shower and drinking a cup of decaffeinated tea will help your body understand that you’re getting ready for bed, especially if you repeat it nightly.
  4. If you like to lay in bed in the mornings, set two alarms. Your first alarm will be to wake you up and the second will tell you that it’s time to get out of bed. Allowing yourself a certain amount of time to play on your phone or stare into space will help your body and brain to completely wake up, and having a definitive time you need to get out of bed will prevent you from accidentally lying in bed until three minutes before class starts.
  5. Take time to energize your body with yoga or meditation. A short sunrise yoga routine or five minutes of meditation in the morning is often enough to wake you up and help get you ready for the day. Even if you feel like there isn’t enough time, a few minutes spent focusing on your mental wellbeing and alertness will increase productivity and pay off big-time throughout the rest of the morning.
  6. Keep healthy breakfast options in your dorm. Protein shakes, instant oatmeal and cereal are all quick, healthy options for breakfast that can be kept in the dorm room. Eating breakfast in your room will cut down dramatically on the time it would take to go to the dining hall and wait in lines. That being said, make sure you are getting enough food for breakfast. It hardly matters that you are sitting in your first class if you’re too hungry to focus on the lecture.
  7. Make a playlist that you can dance to. Play your favorite songs in the mornings as you get ready. Dance around, sing in the mirror. Pretend to be Demi Lovato in the first scene of Camp Rock. This is an easy way to trick your brain into thinking you’re alert and excited for the day (what a concept, right?) and improve your productivity and overall mood.