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Sunday, October 1, 2023


Early bird gets all the benefits

Waking up at an early hour may not seem pleasant for many college students, but imagine all of the benefits it has.

You could find an open parking spot in less than a minute; enjoy a stress-free workout at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, not having to wait to use any equipment; or perhaps study a bit in the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library, absolutely silent from the lack of students. Afterward, you can grab a bite from Einstein Bros Bagels without waiting forever in line and then go on to class with a feeling of accomplishment without feeling groggy.

This scenario is no pipe dream for kinesiology senior Nicholas Levine, who wakes up most mornings at 4:30 a.m.

“It’s better because you can finish your classwork early on,” he said. “You can (also) get a parking space early. It really frees up the rest of the day.”

It doesn’t take waking up as early as Levine to find parking, as there still many parking spaces available around 8 a.m., but the earlier you arrive, the better your chances at a good space. Also, during that time, the gym is generally less crowded, allowing for a better chance of an uninterrupted workout. People haven’t started filing in en masse, making finding a good spot to study without too much noise simpler. Still, the longer you wait, the more crowds you have to deal with, as everything is pretty busy by 9 or 10 a.m.

It helps some students so much that not getting up early throws a wrench in the day’s works. Kinesiology senior Chelsea Fowler said that not getting up early has a negative impact on her day.

“If I wake up early, it forces me to start up sooner,” she said.

Yes, waking up early means getting out of your comfortable bed with not as much sleep as you would like and starting the day slow and groggy for a while, but mechanical engineering sophomore Mery Arce said the early mornings are totally worth it.

“When I wake up, I don’t feel great, but as the day goes on, I get excited because I feel like I can accomplish more things during the day,” Arce said.

Getting an early start, though, is more than just taking advantage of having the campus to yourself or being healthier; it could also give you a good shot at boosting that GPA.

According to a 2008 study by the University of North Texas, early birds actually performed better academically than night owls — a whopping one grade point better, to be exact: 2.5 average GPA for late-risers as opposed to a 3.5 average GPA for early birds. Morning people tend to be more proactive, tend to be able to anticipate problems, have higher optimism and get better, more restorative sleep, though it may not feel like it in the early morning.

If you are looking for a change, aren’t feeling as productive during the day or could use some extra time to get things done, consider delaying that gratification for a bit and set that alarm clock back a few hours. It could do wonders.

Jacob Patterson is a management information systems senior and may be reached at [email protected].

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