What do iUP students prefer?

Eve Bamber, News Section Editor

By now, most of the younger population has figured out(thanks to COVID-19)  that being part of a virtual school allows for a great deal more flexibility than being part of a brick and mortar school. Students are given the opportunity to organize their days however they please and have the ability to structure their classes and classwork around their outside activities. 


Virtual schooling also provides students with the advantage of establishing an individual routine that isn’t limited by certain time scheduling deadlines. Because of this, virtual students are presented with an important decision. Should I wake up early, or stay up late? Sleep schedules play a vital role in any student’s life, and the decision ultimately comes down to what is best for you. 


However, we can’t help but find ourselves wondering if a certain option is better than the other. Despite the fact that most feel very strongly about one side, each side has its own advantages and disadvantages and is better suited for different people.


Early Bird Gets the Worm!

Ever heard the phrase, “The early bird gets the worm?” Growing up, many of us may have heard this from our parents as they attempted to motivate us into getting up early and encouraged us to start the day off with a positive attitude. Still, waking up early can seem like an inconvenient chore, much like taking out the trash or deep cleaning your bedroom. It can come across as surprising to some that there are students who choose to wake up early on a daily basis, even at times that are almost unheard of. 


There are a wide variety of many, many advantages that coincide with waking up early and have been tested by numerous scientists around the world. According to Forbes, studies have shown that early risers get better grades, are more proactive, are better problem-solvers, are better planners, sleep better, are more optimistic, and are more proactive. Other statistics suggest that waking up early, whatever that means for you, will also help prevent depression and will encourage you to make better choices.


Along with this, there are many extremely successful people who wake up early and swear by it. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 a.m. just to get a head start on his email. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz arrives at his office before 6 in the morning. Even the former FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, is working out by 4:30 a.m. when she has a busy day ahead of her. 


Getting up early means something different for everyone. Not everyone needs or wants to wake up at an extreme time. For some, the ability to roll out of bed by 7:00 am is a huge accomplishment. Still, motivating yourself to get the day started right is an achievement in itself and gives Early Birds an advantage by having a positive effect on the day and tasks ahead of them.


What about the Night Owls?

The other side of the spectrum and the opposite of the Early Birds are the Night Owls! While Early Birds tend to be the more unpopular option, a great deal of the population are Night Owls. Night Owls are our resident evening people and tend to stay up late at night, even into the early hours of the morning. They tend to find no joy in waking up early, and instead thrive in the late hours of the night. 


Being a Night Owl comes with a different load of advantages that are just as important in our everyday lives, but different from being an Early Bird. According to Business Insider and other sources, Night Owls are more creative, have more mental stamina, have more bursts of extra strength, have better reasoning skills, are more mentally alert, and have better bonding skills with other Night Owls. Other studies have also shown that being a Night Owl can allow for more time for hobbies and other creative activities. 


While it seems that the majority of successful people are Early Birds, there are still many who prefer the Night Owl lifestyle. The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, sometimes doesn’t get to sleep until well after midnight. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg is known for getting a slow start to the day and instead stays up into the dead of night. Jonah Peretti, the Buzzfeed CEO, prefers to sleep in and also get a later start in order to stay up much later. 


Staying up late can also mean something different for each person and there is no singular category that defines a Night Owl. If you find that working in the evening works better for you then you should take full advantage of this lifestyle. 


What do iUniversity Prep Students Prefer?

Now that we’ve discussed each side, what do iUniversity Prep students think? Does being an Early Bird or a Night Owl work better for virtual students? We heard from a range of different students and what they think about their particular choice.


McKinnely Rupp, a 6th grader at iUp is definitely an Early Bird! She wakes up at 5:30 and loves her quiet mornings. McKinnely states, “I like that not many people are contacting me at that time and I can start school early.” 


Beatrix Matthews, an 8th grader at iUniversity Prep believes that the late-night lifestyle is the one for her. “I’m a night-owl, and could never be an early bird, as hard as I could try. One of the things that I love about the night is this feeling after everyone has gone to bed, the light outside is gone, and the noise has silenced, it’s an almost giddy feeling. A butterflies-in-stomach feeling.” She continues to describe her ideal atmosphere that only comes with being awake in the evening. “It’s almost like I have the whole world to myself, even though there are many

others awake. But in my room, in my own space, I am alone. And, I have the opportunity to study, draw, or write, with absolutely no distractions.” 


Freshman Brooke Bolinger is an Early Bird who wakes up anywhere from 7 to 8 a.m. Brooke loves being an Early Bird, and tells us, “It makes my body feel better physically and mentally when I wake up earlier instead of sleeping in, and also doesn’t make me feel good to stay up late and waste all my energy. When I wake up early, I can start my day earlier and have more free time at night.”


Sofia Lopez, a 6th grader at iUP, starts her days at 6:00 in the morning! She tells us, “I play tennis, and I used to play 18 hours of gymnastics weekly, so now I don’t have as much of a busy schedule, but I still have a relatively busy schedule.”


Emily Demotte, a junior at iUP, is a Night Owl who goes to bed as late as 1 in the morning. Emily has dance that finishes at 9:30, and it is a huge factor in why she is a Night Owl. Emily 

says, “I work best at night so I can get a lot done!”


Senior Nhi Nguyen wakes up at 6, and believes, “Waking up early makes for a super productive day. You can get so much done before noon. Waking up early as opposed to sleeping in also makes me feel refreshed and healthier as well.” Nhi also adds, “I am typically an early bird but I can be a night owl. I can stay up super late and get things done, but I personally like waking up early better,” letting us know that although she prefers being an Early Bird, she doesn’t oppose being a Night Owl. 


5th grader Dawson Baker ends his day at 8:30, bluntly telling us, “I like sleep.” 


Sophia Sokoll, a 6th grader, wakes up a 6:30 and says, “I feel like I have more time to do stuff in the day and I can use the morning as a place to do stuff that I’m behind on, or things I want to do that will take up to much time during the afternoon.”


Sophomore Natalie McLaren ends her days at the late time of 11:00. About being a Night Owl, Natalie says, “I like that I don’t fall asleep during late-night movies, and that I love everything abt my PJ’s!” Natalie spends her evenings doing many activities telling us, “I watch late-night movies, I play games with friends, I also write novels late at night.”


Eve Bamber, a freshman at iUp, couldn’t imagine if she wasn’t the morning person she is. “Nowadays, I start my day anywhere from 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m to get in a workout before the insanely busy day I usually have planned. I love being able to start my day before everyone else and it always feels like I’m giving myself a satisfying advantage.”


5th grader Kayla Thomas is a mixture of both an Early Bird and a Night Owl! She wakes up around 7 in the morning and ends her day at 10. She says, “I like to go play tennis in the morning but sometimes it is cold. I find it hard to wake up and hard to go to sleep at night, so i’m a bit of both.”


Ezra Rajagopal, a 6th grader, goes to bed around 11, as he does “2 hours worth of activities” everyday. He also shares with us that thanks to the wonders of dessert and energy bars, he has plenty of energy to get him through the evening! 


Kathryn Russell, a freshman at iUniversity Prep, is an Early Bird! She wakes up around 7 or 8 and states, “I like to be productive in the mornings!”


Haley Travis starts her days around 2-3 a.m, but unfortunately, like many other students, not by choice. Because Haley does swim, this greatly influences her routines and is the reason she wakes up so early.


So is there really a better side?

Early Birds and Night Owls are two very different groups that consist of very different people. Is there really a better side, though? Maybe. For some, being an Early Bird might be the answer to many of their struggles while others find that being a Night Owl makes their life easier. For you, there certainly is going to be a side that works better, and you just have to weigh the options and decide which one is for you. 


As students, our daily routines are more important than we give them credit for, and our sleep schedules are one of the necessities we often overlook.


No matter if you are an Early Bird or a Night Owl, as long as you find a routine that works for you, this, in conjunction with hard work and determination will ensure that you’ll reach far beyond your potential as an iUniversity Prep student.



Cain, Áine. “11 Facts about Morning People That May Inspire You to Become One.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 4 Sept. 2016, www.businessinsider.com/scientific-facts-that-will-inspire-you-to-want-to-wake-up-earlier-2016-8. 

“Benefits Of Early Risers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, www.forbes.com/pictures/gglg45gfd/benefits-of-early-risers/?sh=4b9fed531eb7. 

Business Insider India. “21 Successful People Who Wake up Incredibly Early.” Business Insider, Business Insider India, 19 Nov. 2020, www.businessinsider.in/careers/21-successful-people-who-wake-up-incredibly-early/slidelist/52013339.cms. 

Stillman, Jessica. 5 Entrepreneurs Who Prove Night Owls Can Succeed in Business Too. 8 Nov. 2016, www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-entrepreneurs-who-prove-night-owls-can-succeed-in-business-too.html. 

Garcia, Nicholas. “5 Amazing Strengths Of Night Owls You Might Not Know.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 13 July 2015, www.lifehack.org/293152/5-amazing-strengths-night-owls-you-might-not-know.