Why It’s OK If You’re a Night Owl at College

Productivity advice often talks about starting the day early and immediately jumping into tasks that require high focus while you have the most energy. But what if you’re a night owl? Just the idea of getting up early likely makes you want to cringe. The good news is night owls often thrive at college, not least because you can set your schedule to be active later in the day.

1. Focus in the Evenings

Many students try to study in the evenings just because it’s convenient. If you’re a night owl, this is actually the best time of day for you to study, as it’s when you have the most energy. Choosing to study when you feel energized means you’ll retain more of what you’re learning and produce better work. To use this to your advantage, do your homework right after class while everything is still fresh in your mind.

2. Avoid Interruptions

Studying at night also has the advantage of providing you with a quieter environment. You’re much less likely to face distractions, such as a friend dropping by, a roommate needing to ask you something, or even your phone constantly buzzing with notifications.

3. Choose Afternoon and Night Classes

If you know you’ll struggle with morning classes, avoid them. You could even opt for night classes and leave the day free for other activities. Since both afternoon and night classes tend to fill up later than morning classes, you should find you also have more choice.

4. Lead an Active Social Life

Plenty of the student experience has nothing to do with academics. Parties, events, and some extracurriculars take place in the evening and at night. Morning people may be too exhausted to take full advantage, whereas you will be fully alert. This puts you in a prime position to have fun and build real connections.

5. Take Risks

Studies have found that night owls are more likely to take risks. This is also an indication that you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur. Many students start their first business at college to make an income without holding a traditional job — it’s definitely something worth considering.

6. Benefit from Your Creativity

Another common characteristic of night owls is creativity. You’ll likely do well if you’re taking a creative major, but you may also like to consider choosing some creative electives to see where your skills could take you.

7. Succeed at Academics

Finally, night owls often score high on inductive reasoning tests, which are good indications of general intelligence. This is why night owls often succeed academically — although they find it easier to perform well when exams are not scheduled for the early morning.

A risk of living on campus is you may be paired with a morning person and find that your routines disturb each other’s sleep. An option for Durham College off-campus housing is Foundry Simcoe. You’ll be living with a community of students right near campus, but you’ll have your own room in a suite or townhouse. Sign a lease now and, even as a night owl, you can take advantage of our early bird pricing.


How to Become a Better Paper Writer

It’s common to receive poor grades at college simply because you struggle to write good papers. You may have a good grasp of the material but find it difficult to express yourself in writing. If this is happening to you, here are a few things you can do to improve.

1. Understand the Assignment

Before you start working on your paper, make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve. Reread the question a few times, highlighting the key words and jotting down some ideas. Check how long the assignment needs to be, whether you are restricted to using particular sources, and if there are other criteria you need to meet.

2. Introduce and Develop Your Argument

Instead of writing down everything you know about the topic, figure out what argument you want to make. Use the first paragraph to introduce the argument and subsequent paragraphs to expand on each point. Tie everything together in the conclusion — this final paragraph shouldn’t include any new information; it should just summarize what you’ve already covered.

3. Avoid Plagiarism

If you commit plagiarism, you will get caught and the consequences could be severe. Universities have sophisticated plagiarism software that reveal if you’ve copied chunks of text from another student, or even if you’ve just used the occasional sentence you found in another source. Software can also detect if you’ve made minor changes to word order or used synonyms.

Remember that it’s also plagiarism if you copy something but add a reference to the source. You should only include quotes when this is necessary for the assignment. Otherwise, put information into your own words.

4. Be Concise

Cut unnecessary adjectives, adverbs, and other filler words and think about how to make your sentences more concise. This will gain you points for style. If you’re struggling to meet the word count, adding fluff won’t help. It’s likely that you’ve neglected some important points. Go back to the assignment instructions and figure out what you’ve missed.

5. Stick to Simple Language

Your professors are not interested in your expansive vocabulary — they want to see that you understand the material and can express the ideas in your own way. A paper is no place to try out new words you’ve recently learned, unless they relate to the topic. There’s too big a risk that you’ll misuse a term, which will lead to a weaker paper.

6. Proofread Your Paper at a Later Date

Come back to your paper an hour or more after you’ve finished — it’s better still if you wait a full day. This will help you see your writing in a new light, meaning any areas for improvement and typos will be more obvious. Make sure to proofread your paper several times before you decide it’s finished. It can also help if you read it out loud to check the flow.

7. Ask for Support

If you’re still having trouble writing papers, use the academic services at your university. For instance, you may be able to receive writing support or find a tutor who can read your papers and give you tips on how to improve.

Even when you follow all the above tips, you’ll struggle to write great papers if you’re unable to focus at home. Your best course of action is to leave your on-campus housing and search for apartments for rent. North Oshawa has fully-furnished suites, designed with the student lifestyle in mind, at Foundry Simcoe. Apply now while there are still spaces available.