Getting More Sleep In The New Year

[dropcap]It began[/dropcap] to get dark outside my windows as I laid flat on my bed on my stomach. With my papers sprawled around me, I searched for my little green agenda to see what other homework I still had left. I went down the list.

First period, AP Calculus, there were thirty-five problems. I sighed. Second period, AP English, there were two essays I had to write about a story we read in class. Third period, US History Honors, there was a worksheet with eight questions we had to answer in full detail, and thirty vocabulary words that were to be defined in sentences. As for my health career class, I had a quiz and unit test the next day along with a thick study guide that was due.

Reluctantly, I set my agenda aside, yawned, and began to work on my homework. I remember taking a glance at my clock and it was nine o’clock. Before I knew it, I knocked out. I woke up the next morning realizing I had not finished my homework at all, much less study for my tests. This had never happened to me before.

Being a junior at Edison High School has been tough. I began this year thinking that I’d have as much fun as I did the last, but it has been the most stressful so far. After my first day of school, I felt overwhelmed by my classes, and I knew this year would be challenging.

Attending school puts everyone in a competitive situation. Everyone does their best and hopes to eventually get into a good college. In order for that to happen, a student is expected to take a ton of Advanced Placement and Honors classes which require a lot of work. Personally, I’ve always tried to do my best and take classes that benefit me.

[pullquote_right]Being a victim of sleep deprivation and excessive homework, I know that I’m not the only one.[/pullquote_right]

As a result, I took on two AP classes, two Honors classes, and a heath career path class at another high school. The work they give out in my health career class is equivalent or maybe more than my classes at Edison. None of my classes are easy and I constantly worry when I do badly on a test or if I’m able to finish the homework. I am also pretty involved in school clubs and because of this, it takes up a lot of my free time, so I don’t have the full time to actually do homework.

As soon as I get home I start my homework and I can’t seem to finish until late in the morning. This wears me out and it has got to the point where I am not getting enough sleep. My body just doesn’t feel like doing anything except rest.

I notice that because I don’t get enough sleep, I am grumpier than usual. For example, I would yell at my sisters for doing the smallest things. It makes me feel bad afterward. Also, I’m falling asleep in class and I don’t have energy to do anything. It’s like my body is too tired, and I just want to reject the idea of doing homework, going places, and getting things done.

I get so tired that I just want to close my eyes and sleep through the week. It makes me wish I did not take so many hard classes and stop being involved in clubs. I find myself not being able to pay attention in class, yawning, and this kills my drive to do my best. I know that eventually I will get stressed to the point that I break down and just won’t want to do anything in school.

Being a victim of sleep deprivation and excessive homework, I know that I’m not the only one. I have some friends who also take rigorous classes and are involved in the community; school takes up much of their time. I have some friends who take six AP classes and I wonder how they manage to keep up with the few hours of sleep they get. Many teens may almost feel pressured to take on hard classes to stay competitive and handle all this work while still being involved in clubs.

Clearly, these classes are not only detrimental to our health, but they are killing us inside and out. When we’re losing sleep, we’re losing the ability to perform at our full potential. Stress destroys us. I think it’s beginning to destroy me.

In the new year, if I make time for myself, get more sleep, and stop taking on more than I can handle then maybe I’ll go back to the happy person I was before.

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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