Summer Advising Days are coming up at the end of this month for accepted students of the Washington College Freshmen Class of 2018, so I would like to offer some free advice on the benefits of choosing a college course schedule OR more specifically- the benefits of choosing a LATER course schedule :D
Let’s jump right into it: In high school, your schedule was most likely a continuous 6-hour span of classes with a lunch somewhere during the day, starting early in the morning and ending in the early afternoon. Excitingly, with admission to Washington College or any college or university comes an opportunity to create your OWN schedule, have breaks between classes, get out early, and/or maybe even sleep in. Oh yes, becoming a college student gives you the extra push start into adulthood and having the responsibility of making your own choices without mommy or daddy leaving over your shoulder for approval. This short post discusses the benefits of a schedule that starts later in the morning and lasts until a little later in the afternoon or evening.
I write this simply to bring to light the advantages of a later schedule, since you DO have the opportunity to operate on one.
**Key points summarized at the end of the post.
• It could probably be assumed that as a future/current college student, you’re not exactly keen to getting out of bed early. Understandable. But let’s be frank here: while in high school, your mommy had to “encourage” you to get up, and rolling out of bed was always a terrible start to the day. You would even “fake” being sick to just get an extra day of sleep. Or at some point you probably even thought about how great it would be if school started even just an hour later. Well, I’m here to tell you that college presents you with this opportunity. A lot of my friends told me that they feel the need to fight their own biological clock and make a schedule that looks similar to the one they had in high school. I suppose maybe they’re convinced that getting classes out of the way early makes the nighttime more enjoyable, or that they need to get used to an earlier schedule for the “real world”. The first argument would make sense if you were on a sleep schedule that allowed you to get up early and still get an adequate amount of sleep. But most of the time, we college students stay up late getting distracted from work on social media, or socializing with friends. So we end up going to bed late, then have to force ourselves out of bed early in the morning, creating feelings grogginess and fatique. The second argument, citing the “real world”, doesn’t really make sense either. It generally won’t take you longer than a couple of weeks to get on a new sleep schedule for a job, and assuming you’re not reading this blog two weeks before you get your degree, you probably have a lot of time in college to enjoy that extra sleep in the mornings before you need to head off to the work force in the so called “real world”.
>Why nocturnals should operate on a evening schedule:
• There is nothing wrong with being nocturnal. Being nocturnal means that you like to go to bed late, you adjust more to the nighttime setting compared to mornings or daytime and basically you love to wake up late. This is completely fine, as long as your class schedule doesn’t inhibit you from doing so. However, while having those 8 a.m. early classes and the nocturnal state of mind don’t mix well. With early classes, after a late night, you’ll have to get up without an adequate amount of sleep, which will put a damper on your entire day. You probably lack motivation for school work, and when it comes time to go to bed, you’ll be up for another two hours talking to your friends out of a fear of missing some social event. My simple solution is a later schedule. You can stay up late just as you like (within reason). Then you’ll wake up having gotten the right amount of sleep, and you can go to class energized and ready for the day. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to operate on this schedule while you have it?
>My Freshman year schedule story:
• For my first semester in college, I scheduled my classes similar to high school with a bright and early 9:30 a.m class. Starting early in the day, but also ending earlier. Not too shabby, however, being nocturnal as I was, I always felt a bit groggy and unmotivated throughout the day. Then after classes were done, I had to fight my feelings for procrastination and suffer through homework. I would finally get done with homework, just in time to leave the library and get back to my dorm in which finding everybody including my roommate had already gone to bed. I am nocturnal, but I was trying to fight it, which left me tired, unmotivated, and lacking of social interaction.
• Finally, in the spring semester of my freshman year, I scheduled ALL of my classes later in the day, giving myself until 11:30am to wake-up on three days, and 12:30pm on the other two. This schedule was perfect for me! I could wake up refreshed, go to my classes, do my homework, socialize, go to dinner, do a little more homework, socialize some more, then continue to finish work until about 2 o’clock in the morning. Most people in my dorm shot for a midnight bedtime, so for the last two hours of the night, I could do homework with no distraction from others, then take a shower and go to bed. I got eight hours of sleep, woke up at ten in the morning, able to get breakfast and did it all again the next day. I felt relaxed, energized, and motivated. Of course it wasn’t always paradise; I still had some extremely late nights every once in a while like everyone else. But on the whole, I had an easier and successful semester even though my actual workload had increased.
In summary, I just want to emphasize the key points of this college advice:
-you’ll have plenty of time to adjust to an earlier schedule closer to getting hired POST graduation; enjoy the college lifestyle while you can.
-if you’re nocturnal, don’t fight it. Schedule your life around your sleep schedule and everything else will, with a little nudging, fall into place.
This is what worked for me based on my own personal college experience. But do not limit yourself to just by taking my advice. Feel free to experiment a little and try different course times. Don’t be put off if there is a morning course that you really want to take, or seems interesting influence your choice of registering for it. Try it you never know. After all college is a learning experience. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about any of this advice. I’d be glad to help! Good Luck!!