Why I No Longer Despise 8 AM Classes
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Why I No Longer Despise 8 AM Classes

And the interesting way I learned how.

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Why I No Longer Despise 8 AM Classes
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As a college student, it’s pretty common to hear moaning and wailing at the mention of 8 AM classes. I’ve always felt this a little absurd since I used to start high school around 7 AM, but that’s never stopped me from complaining right along about the rest of the 8 AM folk. But having had 8 AM classes three days a week for two semesters now (last fall semester and this one), I’ve come to the realization that a part of me will miss them next semester.

First off, there’s a sense of peace in the air unlike any other when you’re out of the house before the rest of the world is awake. The world itself is still sound asleep, and here you are, on your way to get your education. When I used to drive to school, I would leave the house around 6:00 to ensure I’d get to my class on time despite the horrid morning rush (which, contrary to popular belief, is much worse at 6:00 or 7:00 than it is at 9:00). Now, I take the train and I leave the house between 6:15 and 6:20 to catch it. Actually, the only reason I even decided to write about this is because of the 6:36 AM train, but I’ll get to that in a second.

As a small aside, I have also come to the conclusion that the most beautiful sunrises I have seen and captured have been on my way to 8AM classes. Allow me to include a few, along with the dates and times they were taken.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 6:33 AM

(yes I know it's "cheating" because it's from high school, but my point still stands. It's a breathtaking sunrise)

Thursday, September 24, 2015, 6:26 AM

From the days of driving. As you can see, I was stopped at a red light, which gave me just enough time to capture the fluffy cotton-candy look of the morning sky. And post a Snapchat, apparently.

Thursday, October 29, 2015, 7:24 AM

Also from the days of driving. Taken, in fact, in the parking lot after I arrived at school.

Thursday, September 1, 2016, 6:27 AM

This one was taken in the train station, a little under 10 minutes before the arrival of the 6:36 train.

Now, these are just some of the ones I was able to pull my phone out for and actually take a picture. I’ve seen countless beautiful sunrises I didn’t get a chance to capture, and even more to which a picture would not have done justice. There’s a certain indescribable joy in cherishing a sunrise, in watching a new day begin. When I would be stuck in traffic on I-94, I would get to watch the sun rise over the city skyline while sipping my morning tea (I'm pretty proud I was able to make traffic such a relaxing time). And I was granted this opportunity by taking 8 AM classes.

Now, about this 6:36 train. You see, my friends, every time I take the 6:36 train, I sit in the fourth car, and the same conductor walks through to check tickets. It just so happens that the conductor that walks through the fourth car is among the reasons I no longer despise being up for 8 AMs. In fact, I have somewhat of a reason to look forward to them. Allow me to explain.

The conductor on the 6:36 is probably one of the most optimistic, upbeat people in my life (save for some of my best friends). Every morning, without fail, he walks into the car and happily exclaims, “Good morning, my lovely commuters! Tickets, please!” in his faintly Spanish accent. I take the 6:36 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, so there are slight modifications as the weekend approaches. Thursday is “Good morning, my lovely commuters! Happy Almost-Friday!” and obviously Friday is “Happy Friday, my lovely commuters!” No matter what he says, it always warms my heart and softens my attitude toward the early morning.

To be honest, most mornings I do need to be told that I am lovely. The confidence boost is astounding. But in all seriousness, his optimistic attitude is very contagious for some reason. His delight and readiness to tackle the day helps other people to feel the same. I’m not the only one who brightens at least a tad when he walks into the car. People come to life and begin telling each other “Yes, I’m so happy it’s almost Friday. This weekend I’m going to blah, blah. . .” The tiny reminder that I have almost completed yet another week is miraculously uplifting.

All in all, it’s impossible to be downtrodden or annoyed when you’re in the fourth car on the 6:36. You just can’t be. And I'm certainly not. I’ve become a much more pleasant person in the morning and I don’t mind my eight o'clock in the morning anymore. All because of one happy, inspirational conductor who has taught me that there is joy in the early mornings that those who despise them will never understand.

All photos by Mariam Mansour

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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