Waking up late every morning just before class starts and studying or playing all night–this may be the ordinary life of university students during the semester. However, this busy life makes students sleep late at night and wake up late in the morning. While most students live this lifestyle, there are early birds who wake up in the morning. There is an American proverb that says the early bird catches the worm. Is it really true that the early bird catches the worm? Does the early bird really work better than other birds? With these questions in mind, the Sookmyung Times Reporter, Lee Sooyeon, transformed herself into an early bird for an entire week.
I woke up at 4:00 a.m. Everybody was sleeping. I was the only one out of bed. It was really difficult to get up early because I needed to overturn my entire life cycle. However, as I had planed the night before to start a fruitful day, I went outside to Yangje Stream near my house for a jog. I was sleepy during my jog, so I tripped over stones a number of times. Also, it was not easy to breathe while I was jogging. I found the atmosphere at dawn more polluted than during the daytime. After investigating the reason behind this, I learnt that according to research, the degree of contamination is highest between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.1 As I jogged at dawn, because of sleepiness, I encountered some dangerous situations like falling down and breathing bad air.
I got up at 5:00 a.m. Today I planned to study at dawn. We have heard many times how studying or memorizing is more effective in the morning, so I tried to verify this claim. The book I opened to study was the English vocabulary book. The first 20 minutes went well. However, after 20 minutes, my eyes started to close and I began to doze off. Finally, I put my head down on the desk and slept until my mother woke me at 8:00 a.m. Contrary to people’s claim that studying in the morning is better, I was really sleepy and it was difficult to do. In fact, a research team from Spain’s Madrid University reported that among about one thousand teenagers, owl type people are more outstanding and developing than morning people.2 Likewise, my experience leads me to conclude that studying in the morning is not really effective.
According to my mother whom I asked to observe my behavior today, I was droopy and slept a lot. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. this morning, and as I had done on Monday and Tuesday, I went for a jog and studied English. However, both activities made me really tired and sleepy, so I often put my head down on the desk and dozed off. I also would continuously lie down on the floor and bed. I even took a nap for over two hours after eating lunch.
This morning, I woke up at the same time as yesterday. Today was the day I was to meet up with some old friends, so I prepared and left home at 3:00 p.m. We watched the movie Red 2 and ate dinner together. Until dinner, I was really having a good time with my friends. However, when my friends decided to go to a café at 9:00 p.m, I felt deeply disappointed and saddened because I needed to return home in order to go to bed early to ensure that I would get up early. Because I am a morning person this week, I had to forgo playing far into the night.
I went on a trip to Gangneung with my friends for three days and two nights. I woke up earlier and slept earlier than anybody else. After waking up at 6:00 a.m. in the morning, I became really bored because I was the only one awake, so I needed to spend two to three hours alone until others woke up. I felt like I was wasting time waking up early during trip. Also, I needed to go to bed earlier than my friends. Therefore, while my friends played card games till dusk, I made a bed beside them and went to sleep first. That is, while others played delightfully, I had to close my eyes.
Living as a morning person (early bird) had both strengthens and weaknesses. Regardless, I can only say with confidence that the early bird can indeed catch worms faster than other birds, but that same bird clearly misses out on things in life. In my case, I could exercise by jogging and kept my composure. However, I needed to give up time spent with friends and recharge often during the day. In conclusion, nothing guarantees success in all things.
1 Jeon Sangho, “Jogging in a Misty Morning is Harmful,” The Dong-A Daily News, March 1, 2005
2 Jo Jihyun, “Morning People, More Healthy and Excellent?...It is Not True,” SBS, March 25, 2013