If the early bird gets the worm, then why are night owls so wise? For various reasons, some people are just more productive at different times of the day. So are you a night person or a morning person? And if you are one or the other, can you change?
Your orientation to early mornings or late evenings is very likely part of who you are. You probably noticed as early as high school if you functioned well at the start of the day or by later in the afternoon. Did you complete your homework right after school or wait until just after bed. Morning people do tend to get the credit for being more efficient. Mantras like “we get more done by 9 a.m. than most people do all day,” or “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” show that society tends to value the early risers over then evening active counter parts. However, when you are working on something as arduous as a degree, you will probably be working all hours anyways.
Luckily, in college you will have some flexibility over the time your classes are scheduled. Morning people should definitely select the more challenging classes early on in the day. They are also better suited to getting other tasks out of the way first thing in the morning such as exercise and tidying up the dorm. That will ensure they are fully awake a fresh for their early day classes.
Night owls should avoid 8 a.m. classes as much as possible, but from time to time, a required course may be scheduled at the most unnatural times. The benefit to being a late in the day person is you will have a bit more time in your schedule to work well into the wee hours of the night. If you have big project due, seeing the sun go down doesn’t mean your productivity will start to slow down. This is one advantage you have over early risers. Working late into the night often brings you a lot more peace and quiet to focus.
While being a morning person or a night person is likely mostly hard-wired, you can change the way you function to some extent. Night owls can adapt to early classes by starting with gradual changes like going to bed half an hour earlier every night until you are able to wake up fully by the time your morning class starts. Early birds may need to find time for an hour-long nap in the afternoon in order to have more energy for late night study sessions.
Which ever way you function naturally, you will find your college life doesn’t always work within your preferences. When you are working outside your preferred hours, remember to stick to a healthy diet, drink lots of water, get some exercise and take lots of breaks. This will ensure you keep your energy levels up and your brain power focused no matter what time of day it is.