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Jan 07 2016
by Sia Kennedy

How to (Realistically) Be a Morning Person in College

By Sia Kennedy - Jan 07 2016
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I’m not a morning person--at all. I love and value sleep. Just ask my roommate how many times she’s come back to our room only to find me napping. I can sleep anywhere; it’s a gift, really.

I can’t tell you how many guides I’ve read on how to become a morning person. They all encourage waking up ridiculously early to start your day, exercising, reading… mostly things I don’t have the time or energy to do in the morning. We both know you’re not going to wake up 3 hours before you need to just so you can read the paper or decorate your planner.

Yet somehow, through my seemingly perpetual state of sleepiness, I manage to power through my mornings. And I don’t just power through them, I wake up with enough time to get my bearings and not be miserable to the first five people I encounter in the morning. Here’s your realistic guide on being a morning person in college (without yoga, journaling, or meditating)!


1. Get out of bed immediately

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Many of us are guilty of spending 20 minutes in bed after your alarm goes off. Some of us hit snooze, some of us check social media, and some of us cocoon ourselves in blankets and just sit there. None of this will make it easier to get up. Trust me. All you’ll want to do is just lie in your sheets and never move. If you get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off, you’ll have an easier time starting your day.


2. Turn on the lights

Lifeline Canines

This is a tip you’re going to want to check with your roommate on. If you have an 8 a.m. and your roommate’s first class isn’t until 1 p.m., chances are they won’t appreciate you turning the lights on. But if your roommate is cool with it, turn on the lights in your room as soon as you can. Scientifically, your brain associates light with being awake. Having the glaring lights of your room on can help wake you up, especially on dreary winter mornings.

3. Shower

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I used to never be a morning-shower person until I started college. My mom literally couldn’t comprehend how I showered at night, and now I don’t understand why I did that, either. Showering in the morning can help refresh you and wake you up--and your classmates will thank you for being fresh and clean!


4. Drink water

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Start your day off by hydrating yourself. You’ve gone for hours without anything to drink while you’ve been sleeping! Drinking water flushes out toxins and gets your metabolism going. Plus, there’s nothing better than drinking ice cold water in the morning to jolt yourself awake. If you’re not a water person, tea or coffee can have the same effect!


5. Eat something

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I’m not saying you have to get up extra early to run to the dining hall for breakfast, but you really need to eat something in the morning. Sitting down and eating something instead of running out the door with your breakfast in hand can help make your mornings less hectic.


6. Make your bed

Matters of Style

I don’t know about you, but I feel like my life’s in check when I make my bed. This is something really simple and quick you can add to your morning routine. Your room not only looks nicer, but it prevents you from getting back in bed (which is something I’m definitely guilty of).


7. Listen to music

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Want to get pumped for your day? Turn on pump up music. Music has a unique ability to trigger certain physical reactions, even in the morning. It’s really hard to be groggy and sad when you have “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” playing! If your roommate is still asleep, plug in your headphones. Spotify and 8-tracks both have tons of playlists you can access to make your mornings better.


8. Talk to someone

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I have an easier time being pleasant in the morning after I’ve spoken to my roommate. It forces my brain to get into gear, and I can be rid of my “sleepy” voice before I leave for class. These don’t have to be long, intellectual discussions; short conversations about what to wear, what time your roommate will be back after class, or where the eff your shoes are tend to do the trick. If your roommate doesn’t get up at the same time as you, say hello to your hallmates, the housing staff, and people you see on your way to class. Seriously, talking to someone in the morning makes a big difference in my mood for the day.


Even if you’re big on sleep like I am, incorporating these tricks into your morning routine can help make you feel more awake and more productive throughout your day. Being a morning person doesn’t mean you have to get up 5 hours before your first class to go on a run and deep clean your room; in college, all it takes to be a morning person is to wake up and take small steps to be productive. 


Lead Image Credit: CNN

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Sia Kennedy - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Sia Kennedy is the Managing Editor for Fresh U UNC and is double majoring in Peace, War and Defense and Russian. In her spare time, she can be found working with UNC Student Television or crying over her Russian homework. She tries her best not to get hair dye everywhere, and her main goal in life is to be the real-life Peggy Carter. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram siakennedy!

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