Picture this: It’s Monday morning, 7:30 a.m. and your alarm goes off. Within a half hour, you’re already sitting down for your first class. The last thing students want is to have an 8 a.m. class. So, why do schools even offer 8 a.m. classes? After a long week and short weekend, sleep is essential. Homework has taken up a majority of the weekend and now you are forced to wake up early. How can anyone pay attention to school work at 8 a.m.? Sitting in class while half asleep doesn’t help our attention span, keep us focused or help improve our grades. All you can think about is snuggling up into bed, which is what most students do after an early class. Since you’re not fully awake during class, the lessons are not being retained, which directly affects academic performance.
As a student who has an 8 a.m. class, I do not think they should be necessary. It doesn’t leave enough time to wake up, eat and get ready for the day. No one wants to wake up a full hour earlier in order to do all this which leaves us hungry, tired and looking like we just rolled out of bed (which is true). In order to learn in class, our minds need to be awake and alert. Is anyone ever really alert on a Monday morning? I don’t think so. It is harder for me to pay attention so early in the morning, which makes it a struggle to learn information and perform well on tests.
After a full day of classes, most students have to stay up late to do homework. Also, if you are a member of a club or sports team, you may have to stay up even later to get your work done. School encourages us to get involved not only academically, but with extracurricular activities as well. All of these activities demand us to get a full night’s sleep, which makes waking up for 8 a.m. classes nearly impossible.
By Patricia Dalton
The dreaded 8 a.m. class is one that most students try to avoid during scheduling. Why? Once you conquer the stigma of waking up early in college, you’ll find that having a class at 8 a.m. can benefit you as a student. It sounds strange, I’ll agree. I’m not a morning person until I’ve had my cup of coffee from Einstein’s and even then, it’s a stretch to say I’m happy to be awake. I always assumed that my lack of energy in the morning would make me a worse student. Studies argue, however, that waking up early for class can actually improve your grades.
In a Forbes article titled “Top 10 Advantages of Waking Up Early,” it is explained that students who are self-described “morning people” tend to have higher GPAs. Waking up earlier gives you the advantage of having more time during the day when you are awake and focused to complete homework and study.
Most students awake at 8 a.m. would agree with the assessment that being up that early isn’t fun, but the benefits of extra time outweighs the temporary feeling of exhaustion. The Jesuit value cura personalis states it is our duty to expand ourselves outside our studies. They are inarguably important to college students, but socializing is also instrumental to having the full college experience. The extra time you have in your day from being forced to wake up early will give you more time at night to spend with friends, without the stress or distraction of looming assignments. You could also utilize the extra time by going to the gym, joining a sports team or participating in a club.
There are many opportunities to get involved on campus that you could be missing out on because you don’t have enough time to dedicate to them. Instead of waking up at noon and realizing a large portion of the day is already gone, you have time to take advantage of everything Fairfield has to offer. Without the motivation of an 8 a.m. class, I personally find myself struggling to make time to study, join clubs, get to know my floormates and bond with new friends. Next semester when you’re working on scheduling, think twice before you skip that 8 a.m. class; you might enjoy the extra time more than you think.