As spring semester gets going, many students have already realized that when they said, “New year, new you,” they really meant new school year, and their brand-new, totally-realistic regular, healthy sleep schedule is going to have to wait until fall. Instead, some have been using the halcyon days of Syllabus Week to firmly establish the poor patterns they intend to maintain for the rest of the semester.
Third-year student Olivia Zhang is conditioning for late-night papers by logging less than two hours of sleep a night, then napping in uncomfortable chairs throughout the day. Her roommate Veronica Smith-Majors has been pulling all-nighters, alternatively staring at her computer screen and banging her head against her desk.
“Well, if you create a routine early, it’s easier to stick to it throughout the semester,” said Smith-Majors.
“At this point, I know what it’s going to look like once the semester gets going,” she said. “Yeah, I could wait for things to get bad, but if I start now, the shock won’t be so severe, and I’ll be better off, ultimately, when midterms roll around.”
Second-year Jonathan Morales has taken a different approach, sleeping as much as possible while he can.
“I try not to even get out of bed, if I can help it,” he said, explaining that he’s banking rest now to cover the deficits he’ll accrue later in the semester.
“I know that’s not how, like, biology works,” Morales said, “but I figure suggestion is a hell of a drug. If I can convince myself I have enough sleep ‘built up’ to cover the inevitable all-nighters, maybe I won’t feel as tired, you know?”
Senior Jess Finke, in contrast, derides such efforts as naive, if not childish.
“People are, like, stockpiling Red Bull or trying to sleep with their eyes open, or whatever,” Finke said, “but that’s a waste of time. It’s just mind over matter, if you can handle it. Sleep is for the weak.”