9 tips for surviving a 9am

There are only two reasons anyone would ever find themselves in a 9 a.m. tutorial:

  1. You could have sworn tutorials only opened an hour ago but for some reason all the good slots are gone — well, except from the 9am on Thursday mornings. 2 out of 10 spaces taken.
  2. You are determined that this year is going to be your year. You are going to hand in your essays early, join a sports team, be on five committees and get up early. What better way to transform a night owl into a morning rooster, right?

You can spin it however you like – try to convince yourself that if you managed to get up for 9 a.m. back at school there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to do it now. Truth is, it’s never as easy as it looks, but it’s time to suck it up and get on with it. Here’s 9 tips to help you get through those pesky 9 a.m. tutorials.


1.Prepare before bed.

Do as much as you can before you go to sleep the night before. If you are particularly good at sleeping on your back, then you can probably avoid creasing tomorrow’s outfit and sleep fully clothed. If you’re a side-sleeper, not to fear- maybe consider the shabby-chic look for this semester. If you like to play it safe, lay your clothes out at the end of the bed the night before, wimp.

2. Strategic skim read.

If you are already struggling just getting up to go to a 9 a.m. class, you are not going to manage to do your reading if you convince yourself you can get up and do it at 6 a.m. Unless you’re doing a degree in farming, baking or lighting the fires for the lady of the manor, this is ill-advised. Read the introductions and conclusions of your papers and find one interesting thing to say about your reading- this is key for a later tip.

3. Buy a travel mug.

You won’t have time to sit in and drink a cup of coffee before you go, and you probably won’t have time for a cheeky Costa before your class. So make coffee and drink it on the way so that by the time you get there you only feel like a reheated corpse, rather than look like one.


4. Spot the nerd.

When you get to your class, scope out the person who has done all of the reading and sit down beside them. Of course it’s cruel to make one person do all of the work, but if you’re forced to work in groups you’re better off beside the person who knows what day it is. Better than across the table with the other hungover vegetables.

5. Use your interesting thing.

Remember that one interesting thing you got from your reading? Bring it up fairly early on in the class to trick your tutor into thinking you’re keen to contribute and then chill out for the rest of the class when they’re weeding out the weaklings they think haven’t said anything yet. Remember to project! After all, half of an arts degree is fine-tuning your bullshitting skills.

6. Buy a pair of those glasses with the eyes printed on.

You can sleep behind them and no one will be any the wiser. If it works for Homer Simpson it can work for you too!


7. Bring snacks.

Some of the more imposing tutors would like to have you think they can see right through your attempts to conceal your ill-preparedness and general hot-messiness. However, they can’t see through a solid block of chocolate brownie. It works on everyone- the more homemade the better. They don’t even seem to question the fact that you had time to bake but not do your reading. Don’t question it. It’s a gift.

8. Use the time to work on your acting abilities.

If the idea of anyone seeing you in this state- sans make-up, bags under your eyes, suspicious stain on your massive joggers- makes you want to fling yourself in the North Sea, then you can work on making yourself so unrecognisable. The people in your tutorial wouldn’t even realise it was you if you walked past them in the street. This is your chance to be whoever you want to be- as long as that person is gross, under-rested and eerily quiet.

9. Use your absences sparingly and wisely.

Familiarise yourself with policy, and work the system. If you take three weeks of classes off at the start of the semester, then you can’t afford to get ill for the rest of term. No one wants to spend all of their student loan on Lemsip and tissues when they could be spending it on late night trips to the vending machine and cute patterned notebooks you’ll only use three pages of.


Images courtesy of Gurulouu, Janne Heinonen and Yoppy