Campus Life | August 21st, 2022

8 Tips to Master 8 a.m. Classes

By: Stacey René
8 Tips to Master 8 a.m. Classes

This is not high school, so let’s get that straight. This is the last safety bubble students will ever be in before that thing called life comes to burst it. 

Many enter college believing that 8 a.m. classes will be similar to starting classes at 7:20 a.m. in high school, but that could not be farther from the truth. University life is truly a maturing experience where accountability is taught. Mom and dad are not here to be an alarm clock or knock on the door before the bus leaves for school; it is time for you to grow up. But Journey is here to spill eight things that will leave students prepared to master 8 a.m. classes. 


First things first, get into the habit of becoming a morning person. According to a Harvard Business Review study, research showed that morning people tend to get better grades in school, which gets them into better colleges, which then leads to better job opportunities. Getting the day started early creates a rhythm for productivity and success. In the workforce, nearly everyone is waking up early to get a head start on the day. Some even have the chance to take a midday nap or two. Internships and job opportunities are also usually posted early in the morning, so snag the opportunity before the rest of the world wakes up. 


With there only being 24 hours in a day and eight of them dedicated to sleeping, it is important to set up a system for success. Creating a regimen is vital to being a proactive student so that the day does not go to waste. A pattern for productivity may appear as waking up at 5:30 a.m. each day, following breakfast, meditation, and leaving the house 30 minutes before classes start.   

Graphic by: Briana Michel 

 Abraiya Ruffin, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M University, believes the earliest classes set students up for success quickly.  

“The earlier the better,” Ruffin said. “It helps you set up a routine or schedule to discipline yourself. 8 a.m. classes are a great way to introduce you to adulthood.”


Procrastination is the devil’s work. Nothing good ever comes from waiting until the very last minute, especially as a student. When taking an 8 a.m. class, homework should be done before the day is over. This will keep you from having long, sleepless nights that will make you the grumpiest, most delusional person the next day. Reading your material beforehand helps make understanding concepts in class so much easier. Completing assignments early also prevents that studious groove from falling out of whack. 

Georgia State University graduate Alexia McDowell advises against playing the waiting game before you run out of time. 

“Do not procrastinate,” McDowell said. “Do homework as early as possible. Do not wait until the night before, so that you have the ability to ask questions during the day before it is too late” 


There is a luxury in high school where the schedule is made and mandated for you. From first period to lunchtime, everything down to the tardy bell is done on behalf of students. However, in college, nobody is managing time for anybody else. A university schedule can consist of one class on Mondays and Wednesdays, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are packed with classes. Pair that with extracurricular activities and you are looking at a pretty tight schedule. It is imperative to manage time weekly to maximize success. Get a planner and create an allotted time solely for homework and studying. Once academics are out of the way, use the remaining time to spend with friends, try new hobbies or simply relax. 


One thing to always remember is mind over matter. Eight a.m. classes are not the enemy, so do not villainize them. It is important to go into class with a positive mindset because all success starts with the mind. Think of all the things you want to achieve or people who you hope to make proud. Then recite to yourself that this discipline that you are instilling is for a greater end result. 

Eljin Rhymes, a fourth-year industrial engineering major at FAMU, says a positive mindset always keeps a student successful. 

“You have to drive yourself to show up as the best version of yourself,” Rhymes said. “College is all about growing up. Those early morning classes might seem like the worst at first, but it will actually help you in the long run if you look at it in a different light.”  

 When trying to get better with time management, routines, or even working out, you must train your mind before everything else can fall into place. 


Although an 8 a.m. class may sound dreadful, it may just be the best thing a student can choose to do. According to a study done by Jacqueline Lane in Nature Communications, studies showed that early risers are essentially happier and healthier and are causally associated with better mental health. McDowell believes that classes done first thing in the morning are ultimately easier to sit through. 

“The best classes are in the morning because the professors are going to be in a better mood,” McDowell said.  

In this day and age, the internet is extremely accessible for almost everybody. It would not be wise to not use it to its full potential. When creating a class schedule, most professors have already been chosen and made accessible to reach out to. Using Google or RateMyProfessors to look into instructors and what others have experienced prevents a rude awakening later in the semester.  


Honesty is the best policy. Not everybody is a morning person and not everybody can discipline themselves without assistance. Change takes time, but it is doable. When taking these 8 a.m. classes, if optional, evaluate the commitment that can be given before selecting it. Students who strive to be overachievers without the necessary mental discipline may often fail and sacrifice their grades due to poor judgment.  

Fourth year FAMU pharmacy student Bunmi Ikunika believes 8 a.m. classes can be easy if the student is ready to make that happen.  

“You have to know yourself and what you’re willing to do,” Ikunika said. “Don’t jeopardize your grades because you’re not able to fully commit to the time.”  

Take care of your health. A successful student is a healthy student. Health comes in many different forms, whether mentally, emotionally, physically and/or spiritually. A study conducted by the Journal of Adolescent Health found that adolescents with depression are more likely to struggle academically. University life can be overwhelming, as it is a new world that must be accustomed to at different paces. Using resources like counseling, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and eating as healthily as possible can make it easier to be a strong student. Don’t let the transition from high school stunt the success that can be made in college. Be the student who takes 8 a.m. classes and crushes them the first time around.