What Grinds Our Gears: Morning classes are absolutely brutal

We pay tuition to learn, not to fall asleep in class

A photo of someone asleep at a desk. Their notes are open in front of them, and they are using an open book as a pillow. It is light outside, with the semblance of noontime.
Waking up early is really not as easy as some might have us believe. PHOTO: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

By:Annalisse Crosswell, SFU Student

It took months of pandemic life to create a sleep pattern resembling what others might call normal — having a circadian rhythm somewhat synchronized with the sun — and yet I could never find a way to maintain it. Some may feel early mornings are a blessing, but I am certainly not one of them.

Over the summer of 2021, I picked up work in a bar. After months of working past midnight, it seemed brutal that I was expected to be on campus by 8:30 a.m. for a required course. Even more shocking was the expectation that I would be in a state to participate in discussion, despite having woken up at 7:00 a.m. to get to class. 

While I enjoyed the horror of my classmates as I caffeinated myself back to alertness by gulping down Red Bull between my morning lecture and noon tutorial, I truly struggle to maintain concentration when I’ve been forced awake before ten in the morning. Like many of my classmates, I have a commute time of over an hour to get to the Burnaby campus — and don’t often get to sleep past my preferred time.

Of course, this is not to say that morning classes should be eradicated. Apparently, there are morning people who wouId be equally disadvantaged if they had to study later in the day. So, while I understand that writing an essay at 2:00 a.m. may not appeal to all, for other students who think two in the morning is the perfect time to start an essay, morning classes are a wrench in the wheel that is studying.