Students who take classes earlier in the day receive higher grades than students who choose to sleep in, according to a recent study by psychologists at St. Lawrence University in New York. The study said the early class time forces students to get up earlier and maintain a normal and structured routine throughout the day, which allows more productivity.
Alexandra Lutz, a sophomore music business major, argues that it may have more to do with the course content than with the class time. Lutz has taken two 8 a.m. classes at Belmont and gets up about three hours earlier to attend her 8 a.m. classes than normal.
“I do tend to do a little bit better in my 8 a.m. classes than my other classes,” Lutz said. “I don’t think it has to do with the time of day, but with the material at hand and how much the course interests me.”
Another sophomore music business major, Sarah Anderson, has taken six 8 a.m. classes in her time at Belmont. Anderson said the early class time helps enforce a strict routine forcing her to use her time more wisely. Between classes, she said she sits in Massey and does homework so she doesn’t go back to her room and go to sleep.
Media Studies professor Susan Barnes agreed that students in early classes, do, in fact, get higher grades.
“If they are going to make the effort to get to class that early, they don’t want it to be a waste of time. Plus, they don’t have all day to put off getting their work in on time,” said Barnes.
Barnes said a perfect example of this could come from two of her Mass Media and Society classes this semester, one at 8 a.m. and one at 11 a.m.
“The 8 a.m. section is engaged, asks great questions and participates in lively debate. They are almost always on time for class,” she said. “The 11 a.m. has many late stragglers and a good number of them sleep through the class. I have to really drag them into a discussion. I’ve threatened to bring a police whistle with me to class to wake them up.”
Stacey Daughters, behavioral and community health professor at St. Lawrence University, said in interview with the University of Maryland’s DiamondbackOnline while early classes to seem to produce higher grades, some students are not made for those early classes.
“It depends on the student,” said Daughters. “Some students, even if they have an 8 a.m. class, that does not stop them from going out or even failing class.”
– Nicole Parker