That’s what she said: Should school start later?


S. Anderson

Early school start times affect some students more than others. Grayson is seen fixing her sleep schedule so that she can pass her test, while Emma is ready to start school so that she can get out early to do her extracurricular activities

Grayson McClendon, Sports Editor

Everyday, we as students go through the same routine: we wake up at the crack of dawn and sit in a chair for eight hours, just to go home and do homework until you become so tired that you can not keep your eyes open. Then, the cycle repeats. Complaining about being sleep deprived and not having enough time for our mental health seems to be a daily thing, and thus the annual question reappears: Should school start later?

 One of the main reasons school should start later is for the prime reason that students do not get enough sleep. Not only do we have to get up early to be at school by 7:25, but for many students it is not a quick drive to school every morning. Traffic, carpool, unexpected accidents, and the walk itself from the parking lot are all factors that could make you tardy. Fifty-seven percent of students are involved in extracurricular activities, which causes them to be at school as early as 5:45 am to as late as 9:30 pm. Education is a wonderful privilege that we have, but it is commonly overlooked as we see school as a sleep depriving machine. Junior Bryan Fuentes stated, “Sleep is beneficial for the human mind and we don’t get enough of it because of school.”

 According to the National Survey of Student Engagement’s findings, the average student spends about 17 hours a week on homework, which is about three hours a day. Add to that, eight hours at school and about two to three hours for extra curriculars. Throw in about 1 hour for meals, 1 hour for self-care, 1 hour for transportation, and 1 hour for spending quality time with your family, which averages to about 18 hours already. The average student needs around nine hours of a sleep a day. This means students are short 3.5 hours in their day to do anything else like more homework if you take IB or AP classes, religious activities, having a job, or taking time to take care of yourself. Unfortunately more hours can not be added to the day, but think about how school starting later could help you spend your time more efficiently. With just a couple of hours added to the end of the school day instead of in the mornings, sports practices, religious activities and quality time spent with your family could all be done in the mornings. And most importantly- students would not feel sleep deprived. Imagine a perfect day: waking up at 8:00 and getting home at 4:00.

 While we would not get home as early, we would at least have the opportunity to spend mornings in a more productive way, or to simply feel more awake and ready for school. Not only would students feel well rested and prepared for their day at school, but you would get more done in the morning, and have more time for more activities, and none of us would be sleep deprived; and that is what really matters!