Should we do away with 8:00 a.m. classes?


Alyssa Donnelly, Assistant Arts & Life Editor

A recent nprEd article discussed a study done by a Sociology Professor at the University of Nevada, Mariah Evans. Evans realized her students were falling asleep in class and decided to find out if there was a reason behind it all. The study that focused on two different things, a survey and studying the difference between sleep and cognitive functioning. However, both studies found the same thing:  that classes were too early in the morning for undergrads.

Evans research revealed that early mornings are not giving students the opportunity for their brains to wake up. Personally, I’m not a scientist, but if I am falling asleep in my 8 a.m. class, it’s not because I am bored. It’s because of exactly what Evans found, that my brain just is not completely awaken yet. My sleep patterns, of course, change each semester because I have gone from waking up at 9 a.m. for my 10 a.m. class to waking up at 7 a.m. for an 8 a.m. That’s a completely different sleep pattern not only throwing my mornings off but my brain off as well.

It seems more and more people simply say, “Students are lazy” or that we “stay up too late partying.” But what if we are staying up late studying and still have to force ourselves up early for a class. What if some of us have a night job and do not get enough time to fully rest?

Of course, on the other side of the argument, if you took morning classes away, will it truly benefit undergraduates for their careers after college?

I went around our BVU community and found out some research myself. Not only asking students, but a professor, what they have experienced with 8 a.m. classes and how they think taking away early morning courses might affect students.

Professor of Psychology, Dr. Robert Blodgett, doesn’t favor doing away with those early classes.

“I like 8 a.m. classes. I think one of the poorest reasons for not doing something in life is ‘I couldn’t get my ass out of bed.’ One of the more important things for college students to have is a regular schedule and regular sleep times,” Blodgett said.

Now, taking away student classes won’t just let students sleep longer, it could actually mess up their sleep pattern. College is suppose to prepare us for the long eight-hour work days, and if we take away 8 a.m. classes we won’t learn much about what a full work day feels like. Of course, as students we want to stay up with our friends, or procrastinate until the night before, but is it really worth taking away 8 a.m. classes to accommodate that?

Sophomore Lindsay Blackford admits that she does sometimes have a hard time focusing in early classes.

“The 8 a.m. lectures don’t really affect my academic performance because most of the lectures are placed online. Even though I might not pay attention in class, I look afterwards at what we saw in class. But I do think it would help a lot of people because I know I’m not the only one who might not pay attention in my 8 a.m. classes,” Blackford said.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that a students’ perspectives on taking early morning classes would be different from a professor’s opinion. But, think about it. Would never waking up for an 8 a.m. class really benefit your academic performance or just mess up your career path after college?