Midnight oil crisis

Tidings Columnist

It's 2 a.m.

I am so exhausted. The only thoughts running through my head seem to be of my tiny, cramped, extra-long twin bed in my humble dorm room. The soft sheets, the three lush pillows, the thick down comforter &



Woah, I am getting off track.

This, however, seems to have become my new reality, and I have begun to grasp this norm that surrounds me: College = no sleep. The notion that sleeping is overrated floats across campus like an unwritten, but very important, rule, and I struggle with tired eyes to keep up. Before this term, I believed falling asleep in class was impossible; an exaggeration. Now, however, I know what it feels like to have your head hit your chest before you jerk yourself back to consciousness. I also understand why our society is addicted to coffee.

Why sleep when a simple triple-shot latte will do the trick?

This new reality frightens me, and yet I cannot seem to escape it. I can't find time to sleep between the endless homework, employment and social obligations that I find penciled into my calendar each week, and I know that this is unhealthy. I wake up feeling nausous and overwhelmed. I am far more prone to headaches after a sleepless night, and am far more cranky than usual.

And I promise you I am not the only one.

All across campus you will find students who are even more exhausted than me, and with every right to be so. Many students juggle full class loads, full-time jobs and attempt to maintain reasonable social lives all at the same time. Where, may I ask, is there time in such a schedule for something as unproductive as sleep?

Nowhere it seems.

According to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois, college students squeeze in an average of six hours of sleep each night (or per each 24-hour time period). College students today are also hitting the pillow almost two hours later on average than they did 10 years ago, as well as losing close to two hours of sleep overall. As the world continues to move forward at a light speed pace, these college students are expected to know much more than ever when they are finished with school. Therefore they must work longer and harder &

even though they are still given only 24 hours to work with in a day.

It seems unfair to me, anyway.

Hopefully, I will soon be able to balance my heavy homework, employment and social load as well as fit in at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. For now however, I will continue to struggle through my endless commitments and day dream of my wonderful bed. Although sometimes I become overwhelmed, I love my busy schedule. I am meeting new people, learning new things, and beginning to understand that I can do anything that I put my mind to. College is only what you make it. Therefore, I wouldn't trade my hectic lifestyle for anything.

Not even for a little extra sleep.

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