I have recently discovered one of the most useful resources Penn has to offer, hidden in plain sight — the 9 a.m. class.
Usually this is the type of crazy thing you hear from the rare breed of college student that describes herself or himself as a morning person, but that’s not me. Bird chirping is annoying, bright sunlight blinds me and there is nothing refreshing about grogginess.
Despite my sentiments about the beginning of the day, I decided to enroll in a 9 a.m. Legal Studies course recommended to me by a friend. Throughout these first few weeks, I’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for this blessing in disguise. There are certainly many downsides, but here are three pros of taking a 9 a.m. class.
1. Increased Productivity: When I start the day earlier, I get much more done. Waking up earlier fosters urgency, fueling concentration and efficiency that dwindles on the days when I am complacent from the time I awake. For others, waking up before lunch leads to more productivity because it gives them more hours spent alert. “I prefer to get up and out earlier,” College junior Christina Torres said. “The day is longer and used more constructively.”
I’m also more efficient on my early days because there is less slowing me down. There are fewer people on my Starbucks line, fewer people on Locust Walk and fewer people blocking the stairwells. It ends up taking me less time to get to my 9 a.m. class than to get to my 11 a.m. one.
2. More Meaningful Sleep: Getting up early is hard work, but sleep afterward is more satisfying, especially the midday nap. Napping is great at any time on any day, but more effective on days when I have to get to class at 9. “Getting up early really sucks,” College sophomore Afiya Romeo said. “But I sleep more deeply afterward, which kind of makes up for it.”
I also attempt to get more sleep, and more often than not, I’m successful. I may feel drowsy in the beginning, but for the rest of the day I feel fairly well rested.
3. What Doesn’t Kill You … The struggle that comes with having a 9 a.m. class is advantageous in the long run. In the real world, at noon, people eat their lunch, not start their day. Plus, I’ve gained some interesting perspectives about life at Penn that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve learned more about the lovely woman who makes my tall hot chocolate, and I’ve seen a different pace of campus as Hamilton Village and Locust Walk rustle instead of boom.
The main reason I was not completely averse to 9 a.m. classes in the first place was because it is something I think I should be able to do. Getting to class by a certain time takes discipline that I don’t always care to assert, but should possess. In other words, it’s more like a test that I wanted to see myself pass.
Many students claim they are unable to perform as well so early in the morning. They are partly right. Studies have shown that people in our age group may perform better when the day starts a little later. But many of the studies involved high-school students and were examining a 7-to-8:30 a.m. time range. Not to compare apples to oranges, but for the high-school students in these studies, a 9 a.m. start would be a piece of cake.
It is not that students can’t do well at 9 a.m. It is more that they prefer not to because they do not see the upsides of waking up so early. Students should try taking more classes out of their personal time zones — it may end up being better than expected.
Adrienne Edwards is a College sophomore from Queens, N.Y. Her e-mail address is edwards@theDP.com. Ad-Libs appears on Wednesdays.Comments powered by Disqus
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