Most college students who talked to high school seniors tell them that no matter what you do, avoid 8 a.m. classes. After hearing stories of dreadful morning classes where students had to drag themselves out of bed, I had a pretty bad image in my head of what they were like. But being in high school, I thought hey, they couldn’t be that bad, I used to wake up at 6:30 every morning! I would soon find out that life in college is much different.
As a freshman, you don’t have that much say in what your schedule will look like. Being the last Albion students to choose classes, sometimes you have no choice but to enroll in that horrendous 8 a.m. Unfortunately, this was me as an incoming freshman at Albion College. One of the class requirements as a freshman is a first-year seminar class. With many different options to choose from, I selected a class called Heroes, which just happened to meet every tuesday and thursday at 8 in the morning.
Still thinking the class would be no problem for me, I set my alarm clock for 7:30, assuming I would get up from bed and head straight to class. But that morning, I suddenly realized where the numerous negative opinions and comments came from. I woke up that morning barely able to keep my eyes open, basically glued to my bed. With it being the first meeting of the semester for this class, I knew I had to get up and get myself there. By the time I stumbled around my room and grabbed a quick bite to eat, I was arriving at 7:58, still half asleep. At that point I knew what a struggle this 8 a.m. class was going to be.
What made this so much harder? Maybe it was the midday two hour nap on Monday, which resulted in being up much later than planned. It also could have been our first three hour baseball practice the day before. But whatever it was, waking up that morning made high school mornings look like a walk in the park.
Although the first few weeks weren’t pleasant, I soon learned that there were actually a few upsides to having an 8 a.m. class:
- Good way to get out of things: Having an 8 a.m. class gives you a valid excuse out of a lot of things. If you’re like the baseball team, you might have morning lifts before class. But being one of the players with an 8 a.m., I get to leave first before everyone else finishes up their sprints. Coach can’t get mad at you for getting to class and focusing on your studies.
- Get it out of the way: As the semester went on, I began to realize that while I was working out or catching up on sleep during the day, most everyone else was in class. Another positive of the early class is having some open time during the day and being done with one class before most people wake up.
- The early bird gets the worm: As bad as it seems, I actually came to enjoy my 8 a.m., and I continue to take them. Being up before most people on campus means you get the best breakfast that Baldwin Cafe has to offer, you get to see the sunrise twice out of the whole week, and you also get to see people who haven’t adjusted to the 8 a.m. life —rolling out of beds in their sweats and slippers, looking like they just ran through a tornado.
So if you have the choice of taking an early class or not, I say go for it. Although it may be tough getting up early a couple times a week, you’ll come to realize that you’re not in college if you’re not taking an 8 a.m.