How & Why I Became An Early Riser

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom”. – Aristotle

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In the wee morning hours, Craig Proud has slept with another man’s woman whilst thinking about his future date. I think?

I’ve found that waking early has been one of the best things I’ve done since I attended university, and I thought I’d share my tips. I just posted about my morning routines so I thought it’d be a good idea to discuss how I went from waking up at 10:00 am to 6:00 am.

All throughout high school, I was a late riser. I loved to sleep in. Then things changed because when I started attending university I had to do more than just study or pretend I was studying. There were many things I wanted to learn and do every day, but it seemed I didn’t have enough time. So, I set out to make waking up early a habit. 6 am is where I’m currently at as of writing this post, but I’m trying to get down to at least 5:15 am.

Now, before I talk about some of the benefits of waking up early, I want to say if you are a night owl and that works for you, that is perfectly fine. If you’re happy with it there’s no reason to change. But for me, going from being a night owl to an early riser has been wonderful. It has helped me in so many ways and here are just a few…

 

Benefits of waking up early

How I yearn for the days when my alarm clock reaches this time. 🙂


Better mental health

I don’t care what anyone says, mental health is very important. One of the least spoken about (yet most important) benefits of waking up early is the impact it has on mental health. The first hours of the day can set the tone for the rest of it. By waking up earlier, I was able reduce the stress in my life in two ways: by getting more done with my extra time and ergo freeing my mind from any mental clutter. The other was easing my mind with some prayer and meditation. BOlieve me when I say this added an incredible amount of positivity to my life as I started to notice a change in my attitude.

 

Increased productivity 

Mornings, for me at least, are the most productive time of the day. I like to write in the morning, when there are no distractions and I don’t have class. I even get so much more done by starting on my work and concentrating on my studies in the morning. Then when 11 am rolls around, I have no more work that I need to do, and I can spend the rest of the day however I wish.

 

Goals are set for today

Do you have goals? Well, you should. And there’s no better time to review them and plan for them than first thing in the morning. And every morning, I decide what are some things I can do today to move myself further toward accomplishing my goals.

 

Exercise

The gym here on campus doesn’t open until 9, but that’s fine with me since I’m there by the time it opens. I find that I’m usually not motivated to exercise any time later. Morning workouts leave me feeling invigorated and ready to take on the rest of the day. It’s a truly satisfying feeling to know I’ve already gotten it out of the way.

 

Here are my tips to becoming an early riser: 

“The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life”. – Philip Doddridge

Go to bed earlier

Depending on your age, the amount of sleep hours you are going to need is going to differ. However, losing just one hour of sleep can affect your cognitive abilities and physical health so even though I wake up early I make sure to still get an adequate amount of sleep. Obviously, the only way you can get enough sleep and still wake up early is by going to bed at an earlier time. I’m in my bed even when I don’t feel tired and if I am, then I’ll most likely fall asleep much sooner than I think.

 

Don’t make drastic changes

Going from 10 am to 6 am didn’t happen overnight. Since I was used to sleeping until 10 am, it wouldn’t make sense to have the alarm set to 6 am the next day. That’s way too drastic of a change, and my body is going to dislike me for doing that. Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Once you get used to this for a week, cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.

 

Put your alarm clock far away from your bed

Not Far Far Away like Shrek, but if it’s right next to your bed there’s a good chance you’ll most likely hit the snooze button or turn it off. If it’s far from your bed, you have to get up out of bed to shut it off. By then, you’re up so stay up.

 

Pick an alarm ringtone you like

The cool thing about iPhones and Androids is they can be utilized as alarm clocks too. Before I had my new phone, I remember spending time trying to wake up before my alarm clock went off so I wouldn’t have to hear it. Then I started using a cellphone as my alarm clock and quickly realized I could use basically anything as my alarm. As you can see, I use The Rock Clock as my alarm and I love it. I suggest using some sound that is associated with your happy thoughts and feelings and won’t torture you with a cacophony of deafening alarm bells.

 

Have a good reason

If you don’t have something to do in the mornings with the extra time you have from waking up early, you’ll probably find yourself crawling back to bed out of boredom. Have something to do early in the morning that’s important to you. This reason will motivate you to get up. I like to write in the morning, so that’s my reason. You’re gonna need an impetus for waking up early so make sure to have one.

 

Take advantage of the extra time

Don’t wake up hours earlier just to surf the internet, unless of course, that’s something you want to do. Don’t wake up early and waste the extra time. Use it to get a head start on your day! After I finish all my morning routines I like to spend my time reading, writing, learning and finishing class assignments (okay, I don’t actually like doing class assignments, but it is a good feeling to have them finished way before they’re due so they’re not hovering over my head). It’s not even 5 pm by the time I’ve completed everything I need to for the day and I’ve already done more than many people do the entire day.

 

Make breakfast

I consider myself a simple man, and I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking forward to some delicious food I find it easier to get up and out of bed.

 

Enjoy the sunrise

Look outside sometimes (or go outside if you want) and watch the sky get some light. It’s gorgeous and gives me halcyon vibes. It’s one of my favorite times of the day. Getting up early is a reward in itself for me.

 

If you want extra time to be productive, try making the switch to waking up earlier. If this blog post has sparked your interest in getting a head start on your day, then here’s a link to Sleep Calculator to help you get started on your goal.

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Tomorrow Is the Day & I’ve Been Slacking

Tomorrow is the day I go back on campus. If everything goes well and I’m able to get the classes I need for the following semesters, this time exactly next year will be my last semester as a collegian. I’m going to miss spending time with my family, of course (especially my niece). If only they could all live in the same city as me then I wouldn’t even need to pay for housing or food y’know? This semester looks to be filled with interesting classes so I’m hoping I will be a smarter version of myself by the time the semester ends than when it began. I hope to develop cordial relationships with my professors and any financial burdens that may arise be resolved in a timely manner.

On another note, I noticed I haven’t posted anything regarding my play “Love Conquers All Sins” since February. That’s pretty damn pitiful and I honestly have no excuse. I will definitely make sure I spend time daily to write once tomorrow starts. Since I like daydreaming a lot, I actually have all the character designs finished in my head. Now all I need to do is draw them, but I’m still practicing. My blog will be the first place I post them (after sharing them with my brother and sister).

 

Here are the things I hope to accomplish by the time the year ends…

  • Finish and post 4 scenes of my story/play
  • Get all A’s in my classes (I’ll accept one B)
  • Buy a birthday present for my mom
  • Complete 4 art pieces
  • Start applying to become an Anatomy and Physiology tutor
  • See Kid Cudi live with my mom and brother
  • Go to WasabiCon
  • Become an early riser (consistently wake up at ~5:00 AM)
  • Write more poetry

 

A lot of stuff has been on my mind lately. Recently, I’ve been really happy and really sad at the same time. Anyway, that’s all I have to say. Until next time!

4.0 for the Summer Semester

That’s another thing I can mark off my bucket list. *In my Dr. Eggman voice* NOW YOU KNOW WHY I AM THE BEST! Anyway, I really wish this university was closer to my niece, I dislike being away from her and all. But now I’m back in town so I can finally spend some time with her. I’m actually looking forward to the fall semester, I’m taking interesting classes so I’m hoping I’ll be learning a lot whilst also studying to become a tutor by the end of the year.

Honestly, between me and you reader, the more I spend my time at my university, the more I don’t feel like going for my Master’s. I’m still ambivalent because let’s be honest, a Master’s degree does sound sexier than a Bachelor’s, but I have to take in consideration the fact it will also take an additional two years. Two years is a long time y’know. When I think about it, all I want to do is write, draw, make videos, and teach. Of course I am already doing the first two and by the time I graduate, I will also be adding the last two to my daily life.

But enough about school, I have two weeks off and considering I had classes that lasted the whole semester, I deserve it! All my mind will be on is learning and spending time with the people I love!

The 5 Most Important Moments in My Life

Life is the sum of all the events I encounter as I go through this weird experience. From my day to day activities to my greatest triumphs, all the things I’ve been through made me the young man I am today. Every decision I made lead me down a different road. Even the tiniest choice can have a significant impact and reverberate throughout the entire universe. While each day in itself brings various moments, there are some I remember that get me excited, happy and thrilled. This is what this post is about and below are five moments that will always have a special place in my heart. Note: I guess if I ever get married or adopt a kid I’ll update this, but I don’t think the marriage part is likely.

 

5. My First Nocturnal Emission/Lucid Dream about Senjougahara

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I wrote about this particular dream in great detail so it was obviously memorable to me since I took the time to make a blog post about it. This is the most recent moment on the list happening back in late March (on my friend’s birthday lol smh). Why is this dream so important that it made the list? Well, you see I try to find meaning in the dreams I remember and this was the first time in a long time I had control of my unconscious thoughts. I remember a quote stating “A dream is a wish your heart makes”, if that’s the case then for some reason I have a desire to make passionate love to a woman who doesn’t exist. This was the first nocturnal emission I ever had and it was the most confusing because it caused intense pleasure, relaxation and arousal, but I didn’t want to accept it at first. I loved Senjougahara before since she’s an amazing character, but I can never look at her the same way ever again: just seeing pics of her, thinking about her and the dream immediately turn me on which is the silliest part of the whole thing. Being sexually attracted to moving pictures like what in the blue cheese, but at the same time it feels good to be turned on. Another thing that makes this dream life changing is I credit it with helping me kick the masturbation habit. I stopped five months before the dream happened, but now it’s been over a year so in a way I’m glad I had this dream because I already know there’s absolutely no way I can replicate the sexual feelings I had so I find no point in touching myself. Whether I like it or not (I do), Senjougahara ❤ means a lot to me now than ever before.

 

4. Getting Accepted to My Dream University

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Applying to universities was both exciting and stressful. With so many colleges and important deadlines to meet, intimidating might have been a bit of an understatement when I was going through the process. I remember all throughout high school I was interested in going to FSU, but as time went on I realized it may not be the right college for me. My parents wanted me to go to UF, but I knew why they wanted me to go (hint: it wasn’t because it’s a “good” university, or because it offered my major, or because it had a pharmacy school. it was simply because my brother went there). I made it clear I was 100% adamantly against going to UF, how can I grow as a person and become the man I’m destined to be if I’m always having to depend on someone? It was a hard decision, but the university I chose was my choice and no one had any part in it but me. This is a good thing because whether I love or hate my time there I would have no one to blame but myself, but I can always be happy and satisfied to know it was me who took this road. I applied for the summer semester and while I couldn’t know for certain whether I was accepted or not I was always optimistic and hopeful. After checking my application status daily eventually I read the word “Congratulations!” and that’s when I knew my life was going to change, I celebrated and was screaming “Yes!” like I was Daniel Bryan.

 

3. Talking to My Brother

https://bittersweettransitions.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/14917090_350x350.jpg?w=582&h=582Here on my blog I talk a lot about my brother. It’s not hard to see why though, he’s the only male family member I love and care about. One person can have a lasting effect on the way you perceive life and if there’s someone I can say has done exactly that it is my brother. The pithy statements he’s said and the deep conversations we’ve had over the years have helped make me a more understanding and compassionate human being. He’s done a lot for me and he’s doing a lot for me right now, more than I could ever do for him. Somewhere along the way of growing up, the annoying little pest grew up to be more than a gadfly of a brother, he became a true friend. It isn’t said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you will go in life. Keep working hard and doing what you do, no one can fault you for following your dreams. I love you so much and I will always be your biggest supporter and your brother!

 

2. Becoming a Born Again Christian

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. (Romans 8:1-4)

I’ll save my Christian testimony for another day. Y’know, I really like Shawn Michaels and Eddie Guerrero’s stories about how they became born again Christians, they kind of reflect my own. During most of my life I wasn’t religious, I felt as long as I did more good deeds than bad ones I was in pretty good shape. I knew of Him and what He did, but I never took the time to get to know who He is, what He requires and His plans for those who follow him. I always thought Jesus was an inspiring historic figure, but it became a whole different story when I accepted Him as the Son of God and my Savior. Before I made that conscious decision which changed my life, my life was anything but Christian. Battling with depression, alienating friends who have always been by my side and consuming various drugs and alcohol was not fun to say the least. Anyway, it was thanks to those who are close to me (and Charles Hamilton’s music) that I’m not buried somewhere, I realized I wasn’t thinking about anyone but myself. I was able to refocus my energy on my family, friends and spirituality and give my life the meaning it finally deserved. Inspired by my faith, I’m now able to be the very best I can be, show my appreciation for my life and those in it and genuinely be happy.

 

1. High School Graduation

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My high school had a bit of a problem for my class of 2012 because there was a record high of us not on track to graduating. When my teacher mentioned it everyone’s mind was on their class rank while mine was on what the students’ parents think of their kids not graduating or if they even cared to begin with. June 1, 2012 was the big day and it was a step in the right direction for me. A fantastic way to wrap up the last 12 years of school, provided decent closure and I’m glad I did it because not everyone can say they graduated high school. What made high school graduation top this list is the people I was able to graduate with, The Kliq: Carlito, Justin, Hayley and Daniel. I thought I wanted a lot in my life, but at the end of the day the only thing I wanted more than anything was friends like them. The thought was what made me emotional as a bawled my eyes out thanking them for becoming my friends and hoping we can continue to be for many years to come. It was also the last time I would see my teachers for a long time and the only one I was able to see before I left was my math teacher! Most of my family members were there and it truly was amazing from start to finish. My friend Jaylen and his mom drove all the way from North Carolina to see my graduation and I truly appreciate them so much. The most awkward and funny part about my high school graduation was my scheduled SAT test the next morning, but I didn’t mind because nothing was going to ruin all these feelings I was experiencing. If I could replay this moment all over again I would, it is without a shadow of a doubt the most important moment in my life.

First Week at University Recap

I should’ve done this last week, but I was busy studying. Better late than never though so here’s how my first week at university went. I won’t go into detail about my move in because I already made a post about that. What I will be talking about is strictly my experience at the university I transferred to. I made it obvious I was looking forward to attending here and people like my brother and Senjougahara (hee hee) helped calm my nerves before the move in day. Below is a rundown of my week for each day.

Sunday Day 1: Sunday was the day the various clubs at university were promoting themselves and since I don’t know anyone here and would like to make at least a few friends I was excited about seeing what my university had to offer in terms of extracurricular. I tried to connect my Wii U to the internet to play Smash Bros. but it didn’t go as planned.

Monday Day 2: The only plan I had for Monday was walking around campus, while my classes did start on Monday those were the classes I’m taking online. I woke up pretty early which was surprising since I usually wake up around 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. The place where I live was exactly where I needed to because my lecture classes were both in walking distances. I had to fill out this form for my room to indicate the conditions of the rooms and objects. I was able to meet one of my roommates and he seems friendly so far. There are a number of services next to where I live and it’s also a good thing I live on the first floor. There’s a pharmacy, a few restaurants and a gym. I wanted to check out the gym since I would be going there when I didn’t have to go walk to classes. The gym is quite small, my university has two gyms, but the other one is farther away and I don’t plan on going on a voyage just to exercise. After gleaning the gym I went to see where my class buildings were. I was able to instantly find them which was great. Since I only wanted to find where my classes were for tomorrow I went back to my room and did my syllabus quizzes for my online classes. I then watched anime for the rest of the day.

Tuesday Day 3: The first actual day of school. I had my alarm set at 7:55 and I woke up an hour early. Goodness, I thought, but I guess going to sleep early does that. I stayed in bed until my alarm went off. Once it did I got ready for Chemistry class. When I was dressed I didn’t know what time I should leave because I didn’t want to go to class too early and arrive in a class still in session, but I didn’t want to be late either. When I arrived, the class was so big compared to what I was used to at a community college. The class was in an auditorium and there were over hundreds of seats! The teacher went over our syllabus and his office hours. Good looks because while I love science it’s been awhile since I was in a chemistry class (since my sophomore year in high school and I got a “C” throughout the whole year). But I’m not the same student I was back in high school and the help is readily available now so all I have to do is go out and pursue it. My other class which is College Trigonometry wasn’t until 3:00 pm so again I just walked around campus to familiarize myself with the university even more. The campus is huge to put it mildly. At 3:00 was Trigonometry and math isn’t my strong suit either so wait a tick, why am I taking these classes anyway? The short answer is because they’re requirements for my major and I honestly wouldn’t take Trig, but I have a feeling it would help for when I have to take *gulp* Calculus class! The way math classes (at least mine) are at my university smell really fishy to me. I’m basically teaching myself to do math! I have to go to this place for 3 hours every week except on test weeks and it’s required for a grade! The dreaded mathxl from my college algebra class back in community college also made its comeback. I thought I left it in Hell where it belonged!

Wednesday Day 4: I decided to go to the gym. I’ve decided from now on to go weight lift and do cardio in the morning instead of waiting until the evening like I did when I was at my house. The gym isn’t big to begin with and while people are having their classes I can get my exercise for the day out of the way faster. Ahhh, thanks to the fact there are machines I had a good workout and was able to finish in an hour plus the twenty minutes of cardio. I wanted to get my mail key because I knew I would be ordering things throughout my time here at university and there was no sense having my packages delivered at my parents’ house when I’m not there.

Thursday Day 5: I have chemistry class on this day as well, but not trig. We went over the PowerPoint presentation, but I didn’t learn anything new, I guess reading the Chemistry Essentials for Dummies came in handy so far. I didn’t really want to do anything for Thursday and I didn’t have anything planned so after class I went back to my room and studied. I was able to post the prologue and first scene to the first act to my play Love Conquers All Sins and needless to say I was really happy about it. Even though most of my waking hours is spent eating and studying I hope I can make some time to continue to write my play.

Friday Day 6: Friday was a bit more eventful because the first anime club meeting at my university was this day. I don’t think my love for anime needs anymore introduction so I won’t explain myself. I want to join a few clubs and get myself involved, but I wanted to make sure these clubs were right for me. Since I enjoy anime I thought it was a no brainer to come together with other people who share a common interest. The anime shown wasn’t anything I haven’t already saw for the most part (Zankou no Terror, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Space Dandy), but I did see this anime called Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, I’ve heard about it before and saw gifs, but I never actually watched it. I watched the episode where Dio had the family dog burned alive. It’s interesting to note none of the officers mentioned their favorite anime was Fullmetal Alchemist (how can they live with themselves? lol ikidd).

Saturday Day 7: Well I had to go back home because I had a scheduled appointment for my road test for my driver’s license (more on that on another post). It was my dad’s birthday and I didn’t remember until my mom texted me (oh well). I was able to get a Wendy’s vanilla frosty and they brought the two dogs on the road trip for some reason. We picked up my brother who goes to a different university and on the way back home I realized I didn’t bring my dirty clothes even though my mom texted me yesterday saying to bring them. I brought all my essentials, but my clothes! It wasn’t such a big deal, but having to pay for laundry sucks since I could’ve had it done for free.

Overall, the first week wasn’t bad, not at all. I’m getting to the end of my second week here and I’m still optimistic and excited. I haven’t made any friends or acquaintances yet and I’m not going to lie, it gets a little lonely. However, I refuse to settle for horrible friends, I’ve been to high school and I know what it’s like to have amazing friends and if I had amazing friends in high school then darn it I know I can make amazing friends at university! I would rather be alone than have poisonous people in my area though. I’ll be patient concerning friends and even more patient when it comes to a potential girlfriend (actually I’m like Sailor Mars when it comes to romance, I’m not very interested), but for right now my studies are coming first. I want to ace all of my classes!