Jay De Man

you just gotta

We, the college students. 

Standing wholly without regard for culture, entirely seperate from discipline or personality; divested of any hope, dream or desire; completely gone from categories of choice, optimization and ideal – each of us must rise from sleep. 

It is not a question, it is an imperative. We just gotta get up

I am not a morning person. I have tried to convert: I remain ambivalent, too persuaded by the lush warmth of blankets. I love sunrises in theory, but sadly their application feels like a gentle lobotomization. 

 I saw this sunrise the day I left for Calvin. No, I haven't seen one since. I've seen the leftovers of a few, but alas, I am feeble. 

I saw this sunrise the day I left for Calvin. No, I haven't seen one since. I've seen the leftovers of a few, but alas, I am feeble. 

I have an alarming tendency to loom far into the evening. Two in the morning feels pretty great; six, not so much. Yet the enormous necessity of lucidity during the day stands, waiting to swoop down upon pleasant dreams and much-needed stillness. 

To combat the tremendous inertia of sleep, I have developed a balance I believe to be useful in mitigating my titanic lack of personal discipline in reference to the wee, beginning hours. Consider these my maxims for the morning. 

Hygiene dignifies even the most lethargic of states. 

Feeling more zombie than alive? Worried you're about to execute your entire morning by reflex, aware of nothing? I bring to you the gospel of the early morning shower: hot, cold or somewhere in-between, it expedites that important transition from machine to man. Water and clarity are best friends: wash away your muddy senses with the cleansing purity of your personal water closet!

Include what you love in the early hours: they remind you of humanity when you don’t, in fact, feel human.

In that fragile, post-sleep state, I doubt any of us would willingly choose to do something hateful. So, set aside that loathed item of homework. Read a book. Read a scripture. Read poetry. Go for a brief walk or run. Eat something fabulous. Be near people you love. Do music, especially whatever gets you into the mode you most like to be. Anything that's leisurely applies. Direct the day while you still can. Personally, the morning finds merit in the context of perfect coffee: as a barista, I make this a priority.



Give yourself space to introspect. 

Likely, you've been running about creation like a mad terror since the previous day's morning. Reflection is vitally important to recognizing your place, gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you value and may give space to examine emotions or thoughts that have cropped up in your experience. Self-awareness, especially before going about the activities of the morning, has proven to be an enormous boon to me in the midst of every sort of craziness. I put the phone down, grasp that perfect Rwandan single-origin cup of beauty and soak up the opportunity to remember who I am. 

Though not infallible in fulfilling these, they greatly assist in making days that otherwise would be marked as egregious show up pleasant and whole in the halls of my recollection. 

Current students, future students: stay firm and take heart. Calvin may yet be known by its wonderful mornings.