Seminary: It’s “Too” a.m. For Me


Megan Flanders

The 6am Seminary class at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Emily Flanders, Reporter

The early bird catches the worm, but in this case, the worm isn’t even awake yet. A reality for many seminary students, they are expected to wake up early on a regular basis. Seminary is a religion class taking place before school at 6:00 a.m. each weekday (except Wednesday). This class, only for high school students, is run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Seminary and school, plus extracurricular activities, makes for a hectic schedule. For many of these students, waking up at 5:00 a.m. or earlier is a daily routine. It takes effort, mental strength, and devotion to regularly commit to these strenuous days, especially doing it all with a positive attitude.

Cassie McMurtrey, a sophomore that regularly attends seminary, explains her everyday life.

“I wake up at 5:00 in the morning so I can leave my house by 5:45 a.m. to [go] to seminary. Seminary ends at [seven], we go to the high school, [and] get there around 7:15 a.m.. Around 9:30 p.m., I get home, do homework for a while, go to sleep, and then wake up again at 5:00 a.m.,” she said.

Even for a student not quite as busy as Cassie, each day is demanding. To get everything done for the next day, and then wake up early is a hard task. Waking up around 5:00 a.m. for seminary sacrifices sleep and shows a lot of commitment to their religion. Some students, including Julia Klumker and Jared Brinkman, say that they get around six to seven hours of sleep a night, while Hannah Marquardt has a more limited sleep schedule.

“For me, my family life, social life, and school life come before sleep. So I get around four or five hours every night, sometimes less,” Marquardt said.

Even with the lack of sleep, seminary students are still able to learn and be engaged with every lesson in their seminary class. To be able to function with a small amount of sleep, wake up before the crack of dawn, and still go through a normal school day shows a considerable amount of dedication- not only with the students but also with the teachers. Seminary teachers are volunteers, and do it all for the students and the church. The added stress of a regular job and their own kids makes teaching seminary even more challenging.

For students that don’t do seminary, every day is already demanding. Adding seminary to your day is a choice that affects the rest of your high school experience. Sarah Shong, a senior, talks about why she enjoys seminary.

“I just feel a lot happier because we’re doing spiritual things in the morning, and having that knowledge with you gives you a brighter spirit. You’re not so put down by all the negatives of high school,” said Shong.

Even though seminary can be arduous, most of the students that attend will say that it is also very rewarding. It provides a positive atmosphere, helps to make the rest of your day more uplifting, and provides a safe place where everyone is welcome. It may be hard to wake up early every morning, but overall, it’s worth it.