The Early Bird Gets The Berries (and more reasons it’s worth getting up early at Swat)

Finally freed from having to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to high school each morning, so many college students end up staying up very late at night (really, into the morning) and then sleeping in as long as possible. In my first year at Swarthmore, I’ve discovered that I’m more of a morning person. Don’t get me wrong, I hate waking up at first; but once I’m up, I’ve realized there’re so many perks of being awake before most of the rest of the campus!

To be honest, the early bird routine that I settled into during first semester wasn’t fully my choice  – 8:30 a.m. classes Monday, Wednesday, Friday (MWF) and 8 a.m. labs on Tuesday and Thursday didn’t leave much choice of when to wake up. But I actually grew to love it. I even signed up for morning labs again in the second semester. My MWF classes didn’t start until 9:30 a.m. during second semester, but I decided to still get up at 7 a.m., grab to-go breakfast from the dining hall and eat it in the Science Center where I was able to get an hour and half of work done before my classes even started. For me, the consistency of getting up early every weekday gave a healthy rhythm to my week.

Now, I know waking up early is not for everyone but I would encourage all Swat students to try waking up between 7-8 a.m. for a week. Here are some reasons you might fall in love with it:

1) Just successfully waking up early is already something to check off your to-do list and feel proud about. Made your bed besides? Double check.

2) You’ll have the dining hall practically to yourself. There are no lines, no disappointment over the fact that all of your favorite bagels are gone, and sometimes they have a bowl of fresh berries!

3) The peaceful campus amplifies nature. I love my early morning walks to the dining hall.  Sometimes I look around and don’t see a single person in any direction. I can hear the birds singing better than any other time of day.

Rays of eastern sun slanting through the trees on Magill Walk.

4) It feels so good to get a chunk of work done right away. Whether it’s studying for a test, doing some easier work just to get it out of the way, or reviewing the material for an upcoming class so I can get more out of the professor’s lecture, being productive early helps set the tone for my day.

5) Swarthmore is extra beautiful early in the morning. I would come out the front door of Parrish Hall and the rays of eastern sun slanting through the trees along Magill Walk and through the columns of Parrish Porch was truly breathtaking. Thankfully, I often had time to stop and snap a picture.

Rays of eastern sun slanting through the columns of Parrish Porch.