Surviving 3 Hour Night Classes

There are three types of people in this world: those who prefer morning classes, those who prefer afternoon classes, and I suppose some must prefer night classes (though I have yet to meet such a person).

I fall into a kind of subcategory, more of a “I like morning classes but I have poor time management and often sleep through my alarm so afternoon classes are better for attendance-sake” kind of person. I’d say I avoid night classes like the plague, but I think I’ve taken three so far, so I don’t know how accurate that would be.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what any of us prefer, because beyond the fun ‘trying every course that sounds halfway interesting’ adventure of first year, once we know our program we are at the mercy of the UVic course scheduling gods. I myself must have fallen out of favour with them this semester, for not only do I have a night class, a three hour night class no less, but my class does not even begin until 6:30pm, and my last class before that ends about six hours earlier.

Without further ado, here is my night class survival guide:

1. Take a nap beforehand if you have the time.

This may seem excessive, but my night class doesn’t end until 9:30pm, which doesn’t actually seem that late until you have been sitting in a fluorescent-lit classroom for the last three hours, and then have to bus home.

No matter how interesting your class is (and mine is thankfully very interesting) there are times that you will get bored and you will get tired. Trust me.

2. Bring snacks.

I have never taken a night class wherein the professor discouraged snacks. Never. Just make sure it’s not messy, smelly, or noisy to eat. Don’t be that guy. If your professor has mercy, which is likely, you might get one or two quick breaks; primetime snack time.

3. Stay hydrated.

Chances are many of you would hook yourselves to an IV drip filled with coffee if you could, especially with final exams and final deadlines looming, but remember to drink lots of water too. Bonus is if you don’t get enough breaks throughout the class, you can quietly slip out for a bathroom break of your own with legitimate reason.

4. Bring other course work to do.

This might be… terrible advice… but we all know it happens. Sometimes lectures just aren’t interesting. And if all the lecture slides are posted on CourseSpaces, and you’re going to get distracted anyway, you might as well do something productive instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook on your laptop. I would suggest course work from the class you’re actually attending, but beggars can’t be choosers.

5. Finally, don’t waste your skip day!

Listen, we all have days where we just can’t. We might have strep throat, we might have a massive paper due at midnight, or we might just need a minute to breathe and relax and take a second for ourselves so the overwhelming weight of school and work and life doesn’t consume us. That’s okay too. There will come a day when you really need to skip class, but do not get into the habit of skipping. So limit yourself to one skip, and don’t waste it.

Despite all of this, the best advice I can give anyone is to just try your best and do what you have to to make it through the day. (If you need two skip days, take them.)

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