Schools need to have later start times. Now.


This morning was rough to say the least. I woke up and immediately felt as if I had been hit by a brick. No, I am not sick, nor am I impaired in any way. Rather, I am simply just tired. As I am writing this, my eyes are starting to close, my head begins to nod into a fit of sleep, and my brain is transitioning into sleep mode. Every Monday (or in this case Wednesday), getting up to go to school at 7:00 a.m. is a struggle. And boy do I mean a struggle. I mean, this morning I woke up and the first thought I had was, “I should skip.” I am not someone who skips school. I’ve never skipped school. But these early morning wake ups, where I have to wake up at 6:00 EVERY MORNING, really irks me. And here’s why. 

One, I am not productive in the morning. There is no way that a teacher can expect me to trudge through a ram day, do 4 quizzes, and do 3 FRQ’s on such little sleep. I can’t muster the brain strength to even write a complete sentence. So no, I cannot write an entire paragraph on why the industrial revolution affected minorities at 7:30 in the morning. That is just absurd. 

Two, It’s bad for my health. Yes, I went there. Sleeping this little is bad for me. As a growing teenager, naturally, I need more sleep. Yet, despite this commonly known fact, I am still required to wake up early for school. However, in doing so, I am losing my precious and oh so beautiful sleep. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels, keeping emotions in check, and helps the brain function. According to the NHLBI, ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Meaning that waking up early for school can mean that I can contract not only a plethora of diseases, but also that I am at risk for a series of other health issues. This is not ok. 

Three, how do you expect students to come to school on time when you are asking them to come so early? The notion that students have to wake up super early, do all their homework, do all their extracurriculars, spend time with family and friends, and somehow take time for themselves is almost impossible. What results is students going to sleep at 2:00 a.m. and waking up at 6:00 a.m. for school, coming out with a total of 4 hours of sleep. This is not enough. As a consequence, students have a hard time waking up and end up sleeping in or even skipping school. Neither of which the school wants. 

To solve this problem, the solution is fairly simple. Have later start times. If the above reasons did not convince you enough, I simply urge you to ask a student how they feel about waking up so early for school. Clearly, the hundreds of students walking around with venti cold brews is a sign that something needs to change. So please tell your school principal or administrator how much you despise waking up this early. Go to a school board meeting and urge them to make a change on school start times. Go and lobby in Washington D.C. on when schools should be required to start. Or, if you’re like me, just go and complain to your friends and write an article about it.