I love waking up at 6 a.m.!
No, I’m not being sarcastic. When I was in high school, waking up before the sun was up made me miserable. I’d drag myself out of bed in the dark, shuffle around my house in a daze, and head off to school with sleep still in my eyes. I’d go through the whole day eyes fluttering, head nodding, and mood plummeting because I was so tired.
Somehow, that all changed when I went to college. Most days I set my alarm early. I wake up, hit the gym, shower, and eat breakfast before my first class at 9 a.m.. I may drink more coffee during the day than I would if I slept later, but overall I feel great. Energized, productive.
If you asked any of my high school classmates if I was a morning person, they would immediately say no and cite all the times I dozed off in the hallway before class or snapped at them before finishing my morning coffee. What happened to me?
I’ve been giving it a lot of thought this week, and decided that ultimately my change in attitude comes down to a change in atmosphere.
Nobody would enjoy those mornings I had in high school: waking up in the dark with the shades drawn, stumbling through the motions to get ready on time, fighting with two equally exhausted brothers before rushing out the door.
But the mornings I have now are pleasant. I wake up to a room kissed by the sunrise sneaking between my blinds. I roll out of bed and head to the common room, watching the sky change from pink to pale blue while I have that first refreshing glass of water after a night without. I get ready at my own pace, and step out the door before any of my suite mates are up. Outside, the whole campus is peaceful. The academic buildings are empty, and I only share the walkways with the moon that is still lingering from the night before. There’s usually a fresh breeze. In those moments, I get to see my campus undisturbed, hear my own thoughts without needing to block out the noise of other students. I feel more present and alive in the morning than at other times.
I still enjoy my late nights, and those mornings when I don’t set an alarm. But more often than not, I find myself setting my alarm for the crack of dawn and looking forward to it.