Follow these five steps if you are a night owl in college


Kevin Gao

Cars travel up and down the road at the intersection of 4th and Armory late on the night of March 26.

By Carolina Garibay, Assistant Buzz Editor

Not everyone is a morning person, which is a fact that many people, especially college students, have to learn and accept. Being a night owl has its benefits, such as giving you a boost in creativity and intelligence, which makes pulling all-nighters a little easier and, of course, gives you the stamina to enjoy the many late nights of fun that college offers.

Unfortunately, being a night person also often makes getting up early and staying energized during the day almost impossible, which can be an issue when you’re a college student. Luckily though, college is full of night owls who have to learn to adapt their schedules and routines to their late internal clock. Here are five tips that are crucial for any night owls starting their freshman year at University of Illinois. 

  1. Do not schedule a class at 8 a.m.

This is for those who find it extremely difficult to wake up early. If you dreaded waking up for 8 a.m. class every day for four years in high school, avoid 8 a.m. classes in college at all costs. Unlike high school, college gives you the freedom to choose your class times, meaning you have the incredible privilege of choosing not to wake up for an 8 a.m. I promise that waking up early is not any easier in college than it was in high school, so do yourself a favor and try your best to schedule classes after 8 a.m., even if this means you have to take that class a different semester. I’m a junior and have successfully avoided 8 a.m. classes every semester, so I promise you – it can be done.

     2. Know all of the coffee shops that are open late on campus

This tip is imperative for all of those late nights you’ll be up studying (or procrastinating on TikTok), which are probably going to be a good chunk of your college nights. Luckily, the University has several spots for studying that are open late if you’re like me and can’t study in your room without being distracted by the coziness of your bed.

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    One of the best places to study until late at night is Caffe Benne, which has locations on Green Street in Champaign and on Gregory Street in Urbana. M-36 Coffee Roasters and Espresso Royale C-U (ERC-U), formerly known as Espresso Royale, is open until midnight and is another excellent place to study at if you’re looking for another quiet coffee shop to help energize you. Caffe Paradiso in Urbana is also a great place to study if you’re looking for some classic aesthetic coffee shop vibes, and it closes at 11 p.m., so you can stay there pretty late if you need to. 

        3. Do the bare minimum for your morning routine to maximize sleep time

    Take a shower, plan your outfit, prepare breakfast (even if it’s just a granola bar) and pack your bag at night so you can wake up without having to worry about it. Not only will this make your mornings less stressful, but you’ll also be able to sleep in more since you prepared everything the night before. This might sound like a small thing, but it makes a difference, especially if you have a hard time being productive in the morning.

         4. Save tasks that require brainpower for later in the day

    Night owls’ peak productivity hours are usually in the afternoon and evening, so try to plan your day so that you do more manageable tasks, such as responding to emails or completing an assignment for an easier class, earlier in the day. Save any difficult assignments that require more thought and attention for later in the day to maximize focus and efficiency. Planning your day based on your peak productivity hours makes your day so much easier, and you’ll find yourself getting more work done too. 

        5. Make sure your room is a sleep-friendly environment

    Technically, college kids are supposed to get about seven to nine hours of sleep, but this is not always easy. This tip will hopefully encourage you to actually go to sleep instead of staying up on your phone as well as help you get the best sleep you can. If you can, consider investing in dark curtains if your dorm allows it to block out any light that might disturb your sleep. If you have a noisy roommate, don’t be afraid to politely ask them to quiet down a little so that you can sleep. If possible, try to place your phone far away from your bed when you go to sleep so you don’t waste precious sleeping time on your phone or procrastinate getting out of bed by scrolling through Twitter.

    Most importantly, do not do your homework in your bed. You want your bed to be a place of relaxation and comfort, so try to keep your workspace and relaxation space separate.

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