New start time, new me

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Paige Sredenschek/The SPOKE

By Matthew Fan, Co-Opinion Editor

I feel reborn, like I’m a whole new person. Put me on a track, and I’ll run 20 miles. Put me at a computer, and I’ll write a novel. Put me in a classroom, and I won’t fall asleep.

Ok, so I may not be able to run 20 miles, let alone one, or write a novel, but boy, 30 extra minutes of sleep do wonders.

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about the new start times. As a matter of fact, while I was filling out those sleep surveys in homeroom last year, I was so confident that the start times would only cause trouble.

 But I was wrong.

Going to Conestoga means long nights of extracurriculars and heaps of homework. I find myself going to bed at 12:30 a.m. on most days. Instead of only getting six hours of sleep, I can now get six-and-a-half. Now, this may seem like some sort of comedy stand-up routine—30 minutes is nothing!—but I assure you, every extra minute helps, especially when, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, teenagers are getting seven to seven-and-a-quarter hours of sleep per night when they actually need nine to nine-and-a-half.

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, more sleep means you perform better in school, you get sick less often and you have a better mood.

But what about getting home late and not having enough time to do homework?

It’s true that with after-school clubs and activities, I find myself coming home at 4:00 p.m. But that doesn’t mean that I stay up later than I did last year. The reason? Time management. That means no procrastination of big assignments, no watching YouTube while doing homework and no social media breaks every five minutes.

I understand that this may be hard to do. After all, everything I just said is essentially the makeup of a typical high school student. The new start time is a gift. It has the potential to give us huge benefits, but in the end, it really only makes a difference if you learn how to use it.


Matthew Fan can be reached at [email protected]