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Pros and Cons of Early-Morning Classes

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UMass Amherst library at sunrise

Are you more of an “early bird gets the worm” or a “worm that sleeps in doesn't get eaten” kind of person?  If you’re the former, you should definitely consider taking some 8 a.m. classes during your college career. If you’re on the fence, here are some pros and cons:



1. Interesting classes

Most early-morning classes are upper level, meaning they are less-structured and go more in-depth into different subjects. They also tend to be smaller in size, which allows you to get to know your professors.  Some of the 8 a.m. classes I have taken include "Judges and Judging" and "Drugs in Society."  


2. No line for coffee

Being reliant on caffeine is a huge problem when you have five minutes to get to class, but the line for coffee is out of the café door. Luckily, when it’s 8 in the morning, that line is basically non-existent. 


3. No crowd at Rec

Similarly, 8 a.m. classes usually end around 9:45.  At 9:45 a.m., Rec looks like a ghost town. No wait for the cardio machines. No line for the weight machines. No feeling like a human sardine in the weight room.


4. You’re already up

Getting up when your alarm goes off truly is the hardest part. Once you're up and moving, you don't even remember how cozy your bed was.  



1. Leaving bed

To be candid, the first times I had to wake up for an 8 a.m., it took all of my will power not to permanently snooze my alarm, especially during the beginning of spring semester when going outside requires multiple layers of clothing. Sometimes that whole "getting up early becoming a habit" thing can be a struggle.


2. Seminar-based

This is the only other downside of an 8 a.m. (that I can think of), and it really isn't a con. For a freshman in an upper-level class, the smaller class sizes and high levels of expected participation may be intimidating. However, everyone has to take upper level classes at some point in college, so why not start early? Sharpening your critical thinking skills and becoming comfortable voicing your opinions are skills that are absolutely necessary in your career and personal life, and seminar-based classes are perfect for doing just that.


8 a.m. classes aren’t for everyone. Attendance is usually mandatory, so once you decide to enroll, you really have to commit.  Luckily, your sleep schedule adjusts quickly, and, once it does, waking up early and getting things done is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

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