A Friendly Message from the People Who Are Up Earlier Than You

Thomas: So I’m sure that some scientist somewhere has shown that different people have different circadian rhythms, and that’s all fine and good. But the same part of my brain that says to avoid sidewalk cracks says that getting up earlier is just objectively better. Why, you might ask? Well, you’ll have to power through the rest of this article to find out. On that note, let me tell you everything you’re missing out about mornings at Swarthmore.

Pempho: First, you’ll have to get up early, like 7:30 a.m. early not 9:00 a.m. early, which means that you’ll need to go to bed early preferably 10 p.m., but 12:30 a.m. will do (not if you want to avoid bringing shame on your family). After which you’ll need to get ready for the day and have breakfast. After getting up at a reasonable time, getting ready, and having breakfast, you can now go do the most important  part of your morning: appreciate it.

You are a Swarthmore student and we are known for our academics and our workload. Stop and appreciate the Swarthmore that isn’t flooded with students rushing to class (i.e. the ones who get up late) or with tour groups or with a dozen specs that are completely lost. There are very few moments at Swarthmore, outside of the morning, that are enveloped in serenity (moments where you can stop and smell the roses or see your professor walking their dog). So appreciate this time. You only have four years at this Quaker institution and you should try your best to enjoy every moment (and every unique, one-of-a-kind sweatshirt) that you possibly can.

T: There’s also something to be said for what it’s like to work in the morning. There is an aura of tranquility, a sense of getting things done that pervades the campus. I know that whether I’m in the McCabe color room or Kohlberg Coffee Bar, I’ll have a chance to chat with my friends, but also a chance to get working before it all gets crazy. I give myself that time in the morning to sort out what I’ll be doing that day, and get a start on whatever I can for the next one. It’s my breathing room in the often hectic (and procrastination filled) Swat life.

P: I agree that working in the morning at Swat is best time to just breathe and plan out my day, but I also use the morning to spend time going over my notes, writing down any questions that I have, and trying to get ahead on a few of my many lengthy readings. But every so often there comes a point in my morning where I just can’t seem to understand a single word of what I am reading. And rather than try to take a step back and go over the material that I do know, I simply turn to Thomas (thatsa me!!!!!!) and talk to him about anything but the readings.

And I do mean anything. There have been mornings where we have talked about trashy pop Italian songs (my favorite) only to digress and begin talking about what we think of Paces name change (not so hot) to planning out what we are going to buy at the farmer’s market come Saturday (so very many tomatoes). Somewhere inbetween the upteenth trashy Italian pop song and our ongoing complaint of the missed pun on the Crumb Cafe, my readings start to make sense. As much as mornings should be appreciated for the serenity and beauty they bring, they also are the time in my day where my confusion never lasts for very long.

T: In all seriousness, and whether or not it happens before 9 a.m., I hope that everyone here can find the time to just let themselves live. We push ourselves so hard and do so much that I think we forget how important it is to step back sometimes. I say this to the freshmen in particular, because it’s something that took me a while to figure out, but also to every member of this community: no one here works 24/7, you’ll run yourself to the ground if you’re not careful. We came here because we love what we do just as much as we love what we’ll become by doing it, if you lose that then why bother.

Pempho Moyo

Pempho '21 is from Arkansas. She plans on majoring in psychology with an education minor or special majoring in psychology and education.

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