The pros and cons of 8 hour lessons


The first few classes can be frustrating, but some people think they’re gr-8, plus ways not to be l-8! Photo by Lauren Jindrich.


With a new semester in full swing, students’ internal clocks are back from a rusty spell over winter break nothing more than those who have classes at 8 o’clock in the morning. When constructing a schedule that includes enough time for classes, homework, employment, social and religious obligations, extracurricular involvement, and enough wishful thinking to consider pursuing eight hours of sleep, students rarely schedule classes early in the morning.

While many students are more or less forced to take classes at 8 a.m. due to their course requirements, some students prefer them. Early morning classes are not particularly specific to any given college and cover a wide range of departments and majors in part to a variety of scheduling factors. It mainly depends on course availability and when a student schedules courses for the upcoming semester, as well as the demand for a given course in proportion to the number of sections of the course offered.

Brynn Baker, a freshman biochemistry major, observed an abundance of early morning classes for her science credit requirements as a STEM major.

“I had an 8 a.m. class every day last semester and every day this semester,” Baker said. “I’ve learned that I personally love first courses to knock them out of my day, but it works for me personally.”

Korah DeLeon, a first-year instrumental music education major, also participated in many 8 a.m. classes specific to her major.

“This semester I have one at 8 a.m. two days a week, but last semester I had one at 8 a.m. every day except Friday,” DeLeon said. “I’m not a morning person, so I try to get ahead of myself to get ready and get enough sleep the night before, then I definitely take caffeine when I take a break from class.”

Finding new time slots to rest is crucial, especially when the rhythm of his morning has been disrupted. Students often turn to midday naps or earlier bedtimes to make up for lost sleep due to early starts. Both Baker and DeLeon shared that they change their routine around the first few classes, recommending students increase their bedtime the night before class and ensure they are well rested for an early start.

“I go to bed early enough for a college student to make sure I’m not completely dead the next morning,” Baker said. “I put away all my clothes and shoes, so I don’t have to worry about my things in the morning, and I can get out quickly.”

A common denominator that many students share with 8 a.m. classes is the consequent gain from building healthy habits and practicing preparation on a tight schedule. Learning how and when one learns best and participates in an academic community is valuable and serves students personally and professionally with room for growth and improvement.

Fayth Malone, a freshman exploratory business major, credits her 8-hour classes for improving her organizational skills.

“I definitely learned a lot about staying organized, and routine became a big thing for me,” Malone said. “Having classes early in the morning, I have to stay on top of everything. I always kept a to-do list in my diary to make sure I stayed on top of things and remembered everything that needed to be done.

The lasting impact of improving one’s strengths and weaknesses through the practice of healthy productivity skills is invaluable and can be worth the time to wake up early. Overall, balance is key when the work-leisure dichotomy gets strained. By keeping their commitments in mind and taking the necessary steps to ensure they are kept, students can make room for the rest and recreation they deserve. 8 a.m. classes should not end fun or free time for students, but rather open a new path for future opportunities.

According to my sources, here are some tips for surviving your first class this semester.

  1. Stay bundled up to ease the transition from your warm bed to keeping up with this winter’s brutally cold temperatures.
  2. Rest to prepare your body and mind for active listening and learning.
  3. Take caffeine if needed, but don’t underestimate the power of the recommended amount of water per day on your overall health and focus.
  4. Set multiple alarms to make sure you don’t oversleep.
  5. Use this opportunity to stay on top of your schedule in a new way. You got this, guys!


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