Small apartments can be just that. Small. And if you’re like me, you spend a lot of time sitting in the same spot on the futon, with your laptop, trying to do homework…with the TV swiveled to just the right spot as you tell yourself “Just one more episode of Seinfeld…just one more episode of Friends…” This became especially problematic on Sunday, when my TV decided to freeze for about 48 hours.
It’s been about a month since I’ve moved in, and indeed I really do spend all of my time on the futon, or in my bed (except right now I’m on my porch!) One problem with living alone, not that living with people made me any better at it, is making yourself wake up. Your parents can’t yell at you, your roommates can’t bang on your door, and there is no one to tell you to leave the comfort and safety of your bed and venture out into the cruel world.
I wish I could help you, or tell you that leaving your pile of pillows and blankets was worth it. Sometimes, it’s really not. I am someone who has slept through finals, but it’s been a few years since that’s happened.
But here are my tidbits of wisdom for helping you wake up when your parents aren’t there to threaten you with cold water.
1) Prepare your coffee.
The night before, put the grounds in the filter and the filter in the coffee maker. Put the water in, so when you wake up all you have to do is push the button. Even better, go buy those Starbucks doubles shot drink things at the grocery store so you can REALLY be efficient.
2) Prepare everything else.
Put everything in your backpack the night before. Make a lunch if you need to. Buy some granola bars you like because you’ll run out of time to eat breakfast (the chocolate chip ones at Trader Joe’s are my favorite).
3) Your first alarm never works.
So set four, or however many you need. I have one for 10, 1015, 1030, and 1045. If I need to be in class at 1230, I need to leave at 1115 at the latest. This gives me time to get to campus, look for parking that’s close, give up on finding parking that’s close, and spend money to park in the garage.
4) Actually get a good night’s sleep though!
This is hard advice to give, because I never sleep well. But I know some people do! Melatonin and earplugs. I also recently switched out my comforter for one that’s not as hot. I always leave my laptop and phone on my coffee table, far away from my bed. I think I’ve only watched TV in bed twice since I’ve moved in here, because sometimes the X Files won’t watch itself.
5) Following that thought, you could have a friend call to wake you up.
Unless you’re me, and your phone is on the coffee table on silent, because you don’t want to be woken up with the BRRRRING of an e-mail that comes in at 6 am. And even if you do manage to find a reliable friend that calls you, you can just go back to sleep once you’re off the phone. But give it a try anyway. Sometimes I have to combine my four alarms with a call from mom.
6) Get a dog.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living with dogs that aren’t mine/dating people with dogs, it’s that dogs are relentless, and will always wake you up.
7) Exercise, stay on a regular schedule, don’t drink caffeine past a certain time…
This doesn’t work for me either. But again, it probably works for most people.
I can’t help this one. All of the blinds in my apartment are really thin, and the sun shines through every morning. So leave your blinds open! It will also make your plants happy.
9) The maintenance guys.
Because when your air conditioner is leaking, they will come in at 9 am and not leave for half an hour.
Once I’m out of bed, I’m ok. It’s just getting out of bed which is the hard part. I suppose I could get a less comfortable bed. Sometimes the only thing that gets me out is knowing I’m about to have coffee. Or, knowing I skipped class yesterday and probably shouldn’t do it again.