Early or Late? Students weigh in on class times

Ethan Wiles, Staff Writer

Ethan Wiles
ECC A lot before noon classes begin.

It’s 6:30 on a Monday morning. Your alarm goes off and you roll over, dreading the fact that you have to leave your warm bed to get ready for class. At some point in your college career, you will experience this feeling. At ECC, students can choose when to start their day, whether it be in the morning, the afternoon or at night.

Students like Elizabeth Hormuth, a second-year student, prefer to start earlier rather than later.

I like being able to go to class in the morning and have more time in the afternoon,” Hormuth said. “It allows me to get classwork done and still have time to enjoy my day.”

There are many pros and cons to think about when deciding whether you want to get an early start to your day or not. One of them being the fact that you can get that extra hour or two of sleep before class.

Kyla Wahlstrom, a student at the University of Minnesota, conducted a study on the effects of early start times and the way it changed the academic performance of students.

According to an article posted on NPR.com, Wahlstrom “advises college students, except for the rare early birds, to refrain from signing up for classes that make them wake up before 8 a.m., so they can be at full functioning capacity throughout the day.”

Students like Marla Kotesky appreciate the idea of starting a class at nine simply to get one more hour of sleep.

“The hour makes all the difference,” Kotesky said. “It’s a little rough halfway through the class but I kind of just keep myself busy on my phone or daydream in lecture.”

Students that routinely wake up early are known for falling asleep during class or not fully paying attention. For students like Brennan Meyers, falling asleep wasn’t the issue; it was showing up on time.

“I took one 8 o’clock class, and it was my first semester, so I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Meyers said. “I was about 45 minutes late to that class every day, and on the last day, I was told by my professor to never take an 8 o’clock class again.”

For other students that take early classes, they appreciate when professors know it’s too early to be functioning during the week.

“My professors were understanding that we weren’t fully awake at 8 a.m., so they went through material at a slower rate and allowed us to ask as many questions as necessary,” Hormuth said.

Other students had their own ideas about how professors can solve the issue of students sleeping in class.

“I think breaks are very essential for a lengthy class in the morning,” Kotesky said. “I really like those. Even if it’s ten minutes to stretch your legs, get some food — that kind of thing.”

One major con to taking a later class is the trouble students go through for parking. If you have ever taken an 8 o’clock class you know how easy it is to pull into the lot and find a spot closest to the building where you need to be. If you are a student, like myself, who chooses to sleep in and take the 11 o’clock class, you know that if you want that close parking space, you should give yourself enough time to drive to campus, and then wait and stalk people walking out of the building to see what spot you can take next. I know, I have been there, and have been witness to other students doing the stalk as well.

There is a plus to taking early morning classes, which is that your day ends earlier. Some students prefer to get to class early and get it over with. That way, they can spend the rest of their day doing other things.

Some students, like myself, go right from school to work during the week. Sometimes with very little time to go home and sometimes, no time at all.

“If you’re stuck taking an 8 o’clock class, make sure you don’t work later that day, so you can get rest afterward,” Meyers said.

As for myself, I lean towards starting later because I work until nine at night. It makes it easier to go home after work and get some homework done or go to the gym and still get a decent amount of sleep. The early classes in the winter are a curse to me because it is still dark at seven in the morning. It is harder to wake up for me, and I am not at 100%, compared to when it is light outside, and I can feel more awake.

Not all students can function at 8 o’clock every day. I certainly give props to the ones who can. I am a student who would prefer to start at 11 and go right to work. That way, I can sleep at night and not take naps during the day.

There are many things a student can do to make sure they are prepared for an early morning class, some being more important than others.

“Get some coffee if you need to keep awake,” Kotesky said. “Try to engage in the lecture as much as possible, even if you don’t want to. It’ll keep you awake. Eat breakfast for energy, too.”

School over sleep is a classic decision forced upon students who either have work early in the day or other timing conflicts. If you are stuck taking an 8 o’clock class, make sure you give yourself enough time to make that coffee run every morning.