I'm An Early Bird With Clipped Wings

A Survival Guide to Morning Classes As a Night Owl

You live, you sleep through your first lecture, and you learn.


During my first semester of college, I basically structured my entire schedule solely around having classes that didn't start prior to ten in the morning. Of course, I tried to implement courses that I was interested in and were relevant to my desired major, but if there was a class that started at 8:00 AM, I knew that was not going to happen.

I have never been a morning person, and I truly blame my genetics. None of my siblings are morning people, and my parents only survive with a daily dose of coffee. We're all irritable until the sun has fully risen. In high school, I didn't really have the option of starting my classes later, but I took the opportunity in college and ran with it. Although it meant being stuck with evening lectures, it was worth it to me. I could do my homework until two in the morning and still get enough sleep for the next day.

Unfortunately, this was not the case when planning my second semester. As much as I tried to manipulate my schedule, I ended up with an 8:30 AM class. Not only was it early, but it was a math class, which made it much more difficult to get myself out of bed just to listen to a professor spit out variables that I didn't understand. I wish I could Google translate math into English.

After the first day of waking up at 7:30 to get ready (which didn't involve actually getting out of bed until 8:00), I realized I had to come up with a way to survive this semester despite the ungodly hour of my class. I hate coffee, so I couldn't use that as a helpful tool, but I discovered a few other methods that made the task a little easier to manage.

Wake Up to a Glass of Water


Although water obviously doesn't have caffeine, a lot of people wake up feeling dehydrated, especially after an insufficient amount of sleep. Dehydration is known for not only negatively impacting your mood and ability to focus, but for causing fatigue. By starting my morning off with a tall glass of water, I felt reenergized and ready to face my impending doom of walking across campus before sunrise.

Plan Accordingly the Night Before


Now, I'm not suggesting anything drastic like going to bed early because, let's be realistic, I'm a college student and I'm going to rewatch Friends or binge on random cooking shows on Netflix until the clock strikes midnight. But, I can set up everything that I will need prior to class to make the morning a little less hectic. I leave out my outfit for the next day (which usually includes sweatpants because I'm not waking up at seven to wear jeans), pack my backpack, and organize my stuff the night before so when I inevitably snooze my alarm four times, I can just grab my stuff and go.

Find a Friend in Your Class


Chances are, you're not going to be as alert in your morning class as you would be later in the day, which means you'll probably end up missing a few pieces of information. Even if you're attentive, your brain might not be fully aware of what the professor is saying, and the notes you took while you were half-asleep won't be much help when studying for the next quiz. Finding someone in your class to collaborate with is beneficial in all classes, but it's especially imperative for that morning lecture. Plus, then you'll have another person to share the burden of an 8:30 AM course.

Schedule a Nap Session


If you're still in the process of forming your schedule and you know you will have to take a early class, try organizing your other classes for an optional nap time. Even if you find that you don't need it later in the semester, it could help you adjust to your new schedule at the beginning. I had an 8:30 class, but my next class wasn't until noon, giving me a solid two hours to potentially take a nap if necessary (disclaimer: it was indeed necessary).

Bring a Snack (or Five)


I know you may not feel hungry when you immediately wake up because all you can focus on is going back to bed, but it may be beneficial to pack some kind of granola bar or even a bag of pretzels. Having something in your system as fuel can encourage you when you think you're halfway through class, but only five minutes has gone by. If you're looking for a more significant source of energy, there are even granola bars that have caffeine to give you an extra boost.

Remember, It's One Semester


Yes, waking up in the morning is not ideal for any college student, but I know it's a little tougher for us night owls who cannot be productive before eight at night. The one thing that has kept me motivated is knowing that it's only for this one semester, and next semester I can (hopefully) avoid early courses. This class is just bringing me one step closer to completing my degree. But if a requirement for my major is at 8:00 AM next semester, maybe that will make me reconsider what I really want to study.

No college student wants a morning class, but almost all of us have to face it at least once during our academic career. For those early birds out there, us night owls envy you. The early bird may catch the worm, but that does not compete with the satisfaction of a midnight snack.

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

Cover Image Credit: stocksnap.io

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries


It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner


With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram


Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate


The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity


If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in


If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one


Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities


Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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