Before every school year starts, we think, “This will be the year. This will be the year I get my shit together, eat healthy, and go to the gym in the morning.” Then NSO happens, and you find yourself eating pizza at midnight wondering whether you can start your resolution next week, maybe next month… possibly never. To that I say: hell no.

As someone who treasures her sleep like a Wharton freshman treasures his new padfolio, I knew that waking up with the sun was going to be a challenge. However, after three weeks of getting up regularly before 8 AM (albeit grudgingly), I’m considering myself reborn. All it took were these five steps:

  1. Properly Set Your Alarm Clock. The one takeaway here is DON’T USE SNOOZE. Just save yourself the pain of having to fall back to sweet dreams only to be awaken by loud beeping. Also, put your phone away from the bed. Make sure you literally have to get off the bed to turn off your alarm clock. It’s hella annoying: You’re cold, drowsy, and sad, but you’re one step farther from falling back asleep! Finally, make your alarm a song. Personally, I used “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors because it’s very fitting (there’s literally a line that says “please don’t wake me now”). The potential downside to this is getting annoyed by the song. Now every time I hear “Best Day of My Life,” I swear my heart rate goes up.
  2. Plan Shit the Night Before. The thought of having to pick an acceptable breakfast before 7 a.m. is sickening. Cooking is fucking hard; don’t expect to become Gordon Ramsey when the sun’s barely out yet. My go–to is overnight oats, a recipe that's only six ingredients. And now when the alarm goes off, at least you can think “OMG, I have food ready!”
  3. Have Something Ready to Do. You need a reason for why you’re waking up so early. A seemingly popular option is going to the gym, which is what I ended up doing, but honestly it could keeping up with politics or the Kardashians.The possibilities are endless.
  4. Get a Streak Going. When Snapchat got the streak thing, people started using the app more often. Why? Because you don’t want to see a number and the fire emoji disappear. Same thing with waking up early. The first few days will be hell, but then it’ll get to the point where you’re thinking, “I’ve already been doing this for a week, I can do another day.” And the longer you do it, you’ll feel like you have more to lose by ending your streak.
  5. Willpower. At the end of the day, it all comes down to this, right? This is when athletes force themselves to do another pushup when their arms burn. It’s when we don’t go out but instead read another chapter of Econ. It’s when I have to force myself to get up at 6:30 AM so I can get to the gym. I have a friend who told me that she doesn’t believe there are real morning people, but that there are only people who have enough willpower to wake up before when they actually want to. And I know we all have it. So get to bed, you have to be up at 7 a.m.!


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