I’ve never been an early bird. I purposely avoid enrolling in 8am or 9am classes (sometimes 10am is even too early), I love sleeping in as long as possible, and I hate being woken up before my alarm (which is often, living in busy Southside). But lately, I’ve been trying to be a productive morning person, going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier, and I’ve actually enjoyed it. Here are a few tips I found to be helpful in motivating myself to be an early bird:

Study somewhere new

I find that I am less productive studying in the same room where I sleep, and sometimes I cannot fully rest if I don’t separate my work space from where I relax and unwind. This past week I booked study rooms at Chou Hall before my morning classes to catch up on coursework and stay on top of deadlines. The Haas campus at 7am is empty and calm, making it the perfect place to get morning work done. When I purposely go somewhere to study, I feel obligated to be more productive and make the most of the 2-hour study room bookings.

Work out or go for a run
The Campanile before sunrise.

Scheduling your workouts early in the morning allows you to beat the crowds and have the gym or campus all to yourself. A couple times this week I got up at 6am to go run before sunrise. During the day, campus is buzzing with people, bikes, and scooters, but at dawn, campus feels like another world. It’s a nice balance to experience Berkeley at its peak times in the day and also at its quiet times. Working out in the morning or even just going on a walk awards you an accomplishment before the rest of your day starts.

Make it a team effort

It helps to do your early mornings with other people. Going somewhere to study with friends or going on morning runs with friends keeps me accountable and motivates me to study harder or run farther. Especially during midterm season, it can be difficult to find time to do something special with friends. But you will always need to do the mundane things in life, like cooking or exercising or grocery shopping, so why not do that with the people you want to spend quality time with?

For me, it’s easy to do everything by myself and not make the effort to plan things out with other people. But at this stage in life with all the tests and deadlines to worry about, doing everyday life with other people helps you to persevere. When I finish my four years, my hope is that the memories of stressing over interviews or finals will be overshadowed by rich memories of the conversations I had with friends, laughs I shared over meals, and raspy voices from car ride karaoke.

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