For most college students, waking up before ten in the morning isn’t just a struggle–it’s impossible. Part of this has to do with Cornell’s social culture, which involves a lot of staying out late into the early morning hours. Others see nighttime as the perfect opportunity to get work done and use their mornings to catch up on sleep instead. As for me, I’m the anomaly: no matter when I go to bed, I can’t help but wake up earlier than I mean to. While I cherish those extra few hours of productivity, there are some drawbacks to being the only one awake. If you’re an early bird like me, here are some struggles you’ve probably experienced.

You’re the only person awake on a Saturday morning.

It might feel like the whole world is asleep on weekend mornings, but really early birds are just the minority on any college campus. Even if you stayed up late Friday night, you wake up before your alarms and must wait patiently until your friends rise and shine. There are some benefits to this, like never having to wait for a machine during your Saturday morning gym sesh. On the downside, there are also no campus eateries open that early on Saturdays and Sundays, meaning you might have to wait several hours before having a real meal.

1You get tired by 11PM.

Early birds are probably not the ones staying up until three to study for a prelim or until five just to hang out. Getting up early is quite tiring, and early birds have to get to sleep some time. It can be especially hard to survive events that begin later in the evening at the time you would usually go to bed. Shoutout to roommates who know how to be quiet when they return to the room late at night–we’ll return the favor by slipping out quietly in the morning.


2You get hungry earlier than everyone else.

When you wake up earlier, you get hungrier for your first meal earlier, and this pattern carries throughout the day. If your lunch break isn’t until your 1:25 class ends, you better make sure that you eat something before your 9:05. Snacks are important for everyone, but they’re essential for those of us who start their days earlier with a packed schedule before lunch.


3You’re the only one who actually dislikes having afternoon classes.

The good news for early birds is that 8:40s and 9:05s are often open late into pre-enroll and add/drop. Unfortunately, some classes are only offered in the afternoon, which means having that one class until 4:10 can make for an extremely long day.


4You don’t understand “sleeping in.”

Most students speak blissfully of their 11:15 or even 1:25 start times so that they can sleep in as long as possible. Not early birds; you’ll either go to the library, gym, or somewhere else to be productive in that time. Even on the occasion you’d like to sleep in–like the morning after going to sleep late to study for that tough prelim–you find yourself up and ready to take the test before 8AM.


5You can’t fully appreciate the magic of coffee.

Sure, us early birds can enjoy the taste of coffee as much as anyone else. But we will never understand the feeling of waking up because of that daily dose of caffeine. Early birds may say that they need coffee in the morning, but let’s be honest, we were going to be up anyway.