EARLY BIRDS: No worms here, only success

By EMILY PRESTWOOD | The Ranger Jessie Torres, a nursing major, studies before her 7:30 a.m. class in Warren Hall on the Washington Street Campus.
Photo by EMILY PRESTWOOD | The Ranger
Jessie Torres, a nursing major, studies before her 7:30 a.m. class in Warren Hall on the Washington Street Campus.

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When students register for classes each semester, they make a decision: to attend an early-morning class or to hit snooze and catch an afternoon or evening class.

This decision can be more crucial than students think.

A recent report by the Huffington Post revealed the results of a study conducted by psychology professors Serge Onyper and Pamela Thacher. The study shows evidence that students who take early-morning classes tend to make better grades in those classes.

“Students who take late-night classes tend to have a lot more on their plate,” said Elizabeth Rodriquez, a psychology instructor at Amarillo College. “I think other factors come into play like being a single parent, having three kids or having a full-time job.”

Rodriquez said the results may be valid in the sense that sleep is directly related to a student’s performance in class. She said she used to teach a night class, however it did not follow the pattern found in the study.

“The whole idea of having class early is that you’ve rested and taken the class and you’re not exhausted from everything all day long,” Rodriguez.

Rodriquez said students who enroll in morning classes seem more prepared because that typically means they registered early and enrolled in more sought-out classes. Some students are in night classes because they weren’t as prepared during registration time, she said.

Christina Williams, a biology major, said she agrees with the study.

“I think by the time you get to the afternoon, you get pretty tired,” she said. “In the morning, you have a little bit of energy and you’re a little more focused.”

She said the opposite tends to occur in her evening class.

“About halfway through I just get tired of taking notes,” Williams said.

Brittani Morales, a pre-medicine major, said when she took night courses, she didn’t want to go to class.

“I think if you care enough about school to take the time to get up and be at class at 7:30 in the morning, then you’ll care enough about your grades,” Morales said.

Emory Shier, a physical sciences instructor, said the validity of the results from the study are possible, however he hasn’t seen similar results at AC.

“I would say for us, the evening classes often seem to do better because it seems if students come in after work, they are a lot more focused,” Shier said. “At least, that’s the feeling we get as professors.”

Shier said he does not teach the handful of science classes taught at night, and therefore would have to look at more data before giving a more educated response.

Katy Pitman, a pre-medicine major, said she was unsure about the study.

“It’s probably true, because your brains are working in the morning,” Pitman said.

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