Throughout high school, students have found a universal scapegoat for their tired-looking faces, the drag to their step, their missing homework, the reason why they are late to school, and so much more: lack of sleep. It is utterly confusing why any student would feel the need to blame their mistakes and their shortcomings on their sleeping habits, or lack thereof. There is no science that shows how effective sleep can be to improve memory, to boost the immune system, or even to help learning. A well-known stigma is that teenagers enjoy sleep, but how can a teenager claim to enjoy sleep if they admit to staying up into the wee hours of the morning on their phones? For years, students have been using ‘lack of sleep’ as a viable reason to weasel out of homework assignments, but it stops here.
In order to address this issue, it is important to understand the real reasons behind teenagers’ lack of effort in the classroom. Teenagers believe that if their homework load exceeds their “bedtime” then they should push off their unfinished homework and finish it at some other time. This leads towards students harrowing their teachers, bartering for more time, which is disrespectful to the teachers, who understand the importance of skipping sleep for an education.
Teenagers are excellent procrastinators, putting off assignments, studying, writing papers, and even reading full books until it’s almost too late for them to complete their assignments. Students then come into school, whining about their homework load, the amounts of stress that has weighed them down, and how much sleep they missed, using sleep to their advantage to ask for time or for an easier grade.
A few teenagers understand the error of their colleagues’ ways. “Sleep is for the weak, and bears,” senior Matt Baker said. He said that sleep is helpful to him “Only when I want the day to be over,” which directly ties to the issue of teens using sleep as a scapegoat. Students are the ones who decide whether they are disciplined enough to complete their assignments well and on time, or if they instead want to give in to sleep. Baker’s inspiring quote, “Sleep is being awake in your dreams,” only supports the case at hand; If sleep is “being awake in your dreams,” why does one fall asleep when they are only going to be trapped in their dreams?
Senior Claire Dotson also understands that sleep isn’t a real issue. “I never really sleep. Sleep is something the government made up to keep us from figuring out what goes on in our lives at night. Sleep is for the weak,” Dotson said. “Think of all the things you could’ve done without sleeping.”
It’s also important to address solutions for the issue. Students must train themselves to stay awake and active throughout the night for an even better day tomorrow. They must educate themselves on the negative effects of sleep and how sleep interferes with schoolwork. They must dedicate themselves for a better future for themselves and for the state of teenagers everywhere, pushing harder and harder for a world of constant energy, complete dedication to one’s studies, sleep deprivation, and most of all, an idealistic view, spurred on by the hope that these ideals will be passed down from this generation to the next.