I am loving being back at Uni! I really missed the clear structure, the socialising, the face-to-face contact with lecturers, and being able to spend all my money at Shaky Isles. Bliss!

Being a third-year Arts student, the best parts of my degree are discussing and analysing with others. I’ve missed that deeply during lockdown, so it’s great to be back. But, I must admit, I really miss being able to roll out of bed five minutes before my class and just keep the camera/mic off. It bred some very bad habits; a 8.55am wakeup time is not going to cut it for 9am lectures. In the words of Taylor Swift, I’ve been having a hard time adjusting. Thankfully, I live close to campus, so I don’t have to wake up majorly early, but it is still super difficult to get back into the swing of things. What makes it even harder is that now I’m back in Auckland, I live alone – if I oversleep, there’s no one here to wake me up. Where are you, mum? Save me from myself.

My view when I get up on time. You’d think this would be motivation enough.

There’s a strange student culture around sleeping; among friends, particularly in the most high-stress degrees, there’s almost a competition to see who gets the least in the name of their study. This is extremely counterproductive – the more sleep you get, the better your work will be. Getting into the habit of staying up all night working might seem like the ‘uni’ thing to do, but really, it will only damage your work. Getting up early and being organised during the day will have way better long-term benefits, particularly when you join the work force.

I’ve been a deep sleeper my whole life, and generally, it’s something I’m grateful for. Not having trouble falling asleep means that I’m usually well-rested and don’t stay up stressing. But, the flipside is that waking up is like a form of torture, no matter how many hours I get. I wish I was one of those people who wakes up at dawn for a sunrise run, but instead, I’m snoozing my alarm until the very last moment. Sunrise yoga people, did you sell your souls for your abilities? Is there some form of witchcraft involved?

When I oversleep, the first thing I tend to forego to make up the time is breakfast. This is a real pain because when I don’t start the morning with marmite on hot buttered toast, I feel hungry ALL DAY. It’s important that when you start university, you don’t start to neglect the things that keep you healthy and feeling energetic; eating three square meals, sleeping well, socialising, etc. At uni, the things your mum makes sure you do become things you have to make sure you do. It’s a good idea to get into independent habits (waking up on your own, making your own breakfast) while still at high school if you can, and then it won’t be any different once you get here.

Even though it’s hard, I always find that I have a better day when I get up early. Because I have more time, I feel less stressed, more productive, and generally like I accomplished something. When I can look out my window and see the sky turn from orange to blue, I feel ready for anything, versus when I roll out of bed and throw some clothes on because I’ve overslept. I also find that I’m less forgetful and more organised because I have time to think through the day before I leave. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m notorious for leaving stuff in my room and then kicking myself when I have to run back in the middle of the day to get it.

That said, I clearly am not there yet. To help get back to the early morning wake-up, I’ve been trying to make myself go to bed by 10:30 and not take my phone to bed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going perfectly, but it is helping. If anyone has any tips on getting up and STAYING up (I have gone back to bed after thinking I had successfully arisen), I would love to hear them!

I hope everyone is enjoying getting back to normalcy, early wake-ups and all, and that this second half of the year is infinitely better than the first. Until next time, kia kaha.