At Getting Up in the Morning

Hate to break it to you, readers, but Christmas? New Year’s Eve? New Year’s Day? All of it’s over. The world has gone back to normal, and I don’t think anyone’s more aware of it than college students. (Except maybe retail employees… the difference is college students aren’t happy about it.)

At my university, once you’re done with finals, you’re done with class for almost a full month—that means 26 to 28 days of sleeping in, endless Netflix binges, and minimal responsibility. The break is awesome while it lasts, but coming back to your regular obligations can be something of a shock, particularly when those obligations happen before noon.

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NBC’s Parks and Recreation on breakfast. Original still image from g33kpron.com.

Confession time: I’m a morning person. I like watching the sun come up when I can, and like Leslie Knope, I have no idea why anyone eats anything but breakfast food. I am almost embarrassingly perky before eleven a.m., which renders me persona non grata in some circles. I love being awake in the morning, but do you know what else I love? Sleep. My bed is one of my favorite places in the whole world, and even if I’m excited to begin my day, that makes getting out of it really difficult. Still, though, here I am, fully dressed, at a computer in my university’s library (as part of my New Year’s resolution to get out of my apartment at every given opportunity), having signed the roll sheet for my first class of the spring semester at nine a.m. just like I was supposed to. Am I happy about it? That’s a good question. It’s also an irrelevant one, because guess what? I did it.

You don’t have to be great at getting up in the morning. There is absolutely no need for you to be Rapunzel from Tangled, bouncing out of bed with a song in your heart at seven a.m. with nothing to look forward to but cleaning your house—but you still have to get up. Here are some ways to make it suck less.

What is not sucking? Not sucking is defined in the world of removing oneself from bed in the morning as being upright and mobile relatively quickly, without completely hating life.

1. Remember your mornings start at night. Plan to go to bed eight or nine hours before you know you have to get up for optimum daytime pleasantness. Prepare for your day the night before—there’s no shame in being the kid who plans your outfit for the next day and lays it out before bed.

2. Set an alarm you hate. If you wake up to your favorite song, you’re going to be content enough to stay in bed until it’s over. However, most of us know all too well that a few minutes of pleasantly lying awake in bed can quickly turn into “Well, just a few more minutes”… aaaaand suddenly you’ve slept through all your classes. Not good. The best way to make sure you get up and on your feet as soon as possible is to set a really annoying alarm and put it across the room from your bed. Mine is a beep that gets steadily louder, faster and higher pitched the longer I leave it on. Once your feet have touched carpet (or wood, or tile, or linoleum… I don’t know what you have on the floor in your room. We aren’t that close yet), getting into your morning routine will be that much easier.

3. Have a routine you can do while still mostly asleep. This is where laying your clothes out the night before can be really helpful. I don’t know about you, but it takes me about an hour after I wake up to gain the mental capacity to match clothes by color, and I don’t have that kind of time before my classes start. If you can, avoid thinking for a while right after waking up. Shower. Brush your hair. Brush your teeth. Fix cereal for breakfast. Do stuff that you can do mechanically and worry about complicated problems (“Does this shirt go with these shoes?” “Where are my keys?” “What should I do with my life?”) later.

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Thank you, Disney, for finally giving us a realistic depiction of waking up. Anna from Frozen. Original still from fanpop.com.

4. Do something that makes you happy right after you get up. One thing that can make getting out of bed a lot less annoying is pairing it, in your head, with something to look forward to. For me, that’s coffee. For you, it might be dancing to loud music, playing with your dog, or watching that paper delivery boy toss your next-door neighbor’s Wall Street Journal onto the roof yet again (is he doing it on purpose? Either way, it’s funny). Maybe it’s getting ready for the first ball your castle has held in over a decade, or maybe it’s just cleaning your house with your pet chameleon. No matter what it is, make sure it makes you feel pleasant enough to not completely regret leaving your nice warm sheets. They’ll still be there in twelve hours—trust me on this one.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? Leave a comment here or on the Facebook page or tweet it @hownottosuckblg (not “blog”. “Blg”, as in “Blg, I can’t believe I have to get up at 7 tomorrow”).

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