My first semester of freshman year, I made the naive mistake many freshmen make while scheduling classes.
When I scheduled all my classes in the morning, this did not seem like such as bad idea. After all, I always considered myself a morning person, and I had to wake up early for all of my classes in high school. So, why would it be any different in college?
Then, I started going to all of the morning classes I scheduled and realized what a huge mistake I had made.
College was nothing like high school. I had far more assignments, a part-time job in Baton Rouge and more responsibilities in my personal life. By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, and all I wanted to do was sleep. Sometimes, I could not, and I had to stay up late to do homework. That was very hard on me, especially when I had to wake up at 6 a.m. every morning so I got to school on time for my first class.
Classes in college also require far more attention and focus than high school classes. I could not afford to miss anything, but since I was so exhausted, I often times found myself half asleep or having problems being attentive during lectures. No matter how much coffee I drank, I could never be fully awake for a morning class.
Of course, this isn’t because I found the lectures boring or did not want to be in class, but I was just too exhausted from the previous day and I had trouble staying awake.
I always feel rushed whenever I find myself in the unfortunate situation of being in a morning class. I feel far more stressed out when I wake up, and I have an exam or an assignment due in a very short period of time, even if I am prepared.
Afternoon classes, on the other hand, have always been far better for me. I am far more attentive and willing to participate whenever I have an afternoon class since I have been awake for a while.
I have more time in the morning to take things slow. This semester, almost all of my classes are later in the day. So, I get more time in the mornings to sleep later, catch up on school work, study or talk to my friends.
Also, whenever I have an exam, I am far less stressed because I have had plenty of time beforehand to review and make sure I have a solid grasp on the material. Having that extra time makes all the difference to me. Taking the exam while I am more awake is also a great benefit because I had an easier time remembering what I studied.
As college students, we often times forget just how important sleep is. I know I have stayed up very late doing homework or hanging out with friends just because there is no one stopping me from doing so.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, students who do not get at least eight to 10 hours of sleep are more likely to be overweight, suffer from depression and perform poorly in school. After a late night of doing homework, the very last thing I want to do in the morning is wake up early to go to an 8 a.m. class. Those additional few hours of sleep makes all the difference to me.
If there is one thing I learned from my freshman year, morning classes do not work well for me.