High school starts early

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Adhiti Chundur

When waking up early, kids can be drowsy and unfocused in class. It is hard to get the amount of sleep recommended for teenagers. But getting out early means more time in the afternoon.

Adhiti Chundur

Around 6:30 a.m. in the morning, when the neighborhoods are silent and no one has gotten up yet, students start walking to the bus stop. Fall and winter bring pitch-black mornings, so the only source of light is the dim street lamps.

As the bus travels closer to the school, a policeman is directing the increasing flow of traffic into the high school.

Many kids are exhausted this early in the morning, but as they step into the school, they can only prepare for the long day ahead.

With the early start times, students during the first part of the day are often bleary-eyed and yawning. But for some, waking up early is ideal.

“I actually like waking up early and starting my day,” freshman Anita Pan said.

In an article from the National Sleep Foundation, teens need an average of 9 ¼ hours of sleep. However, many students in addition to school have sports, clubs, other extracurricular activities, homework, and sometimes a job.

“When I swim, I get home around 6:30 p.m. and start homework at 7:30 p.m. My homework goes on until 12:30 a.m. in the morning, so I only get about 5 hours of sleep a night,” Pan said.

“I don’t recommend taking a nap after coming home from school. Sometimes I do two hours of homework, take a 30 minute nap, and then continue. When I wake up, I feel very grouchy.”

During school, teenagers find focusing on classes hard, and they go through the whole day feeling tired.

“By fifth bell I feel dead, especially after lunch,” Pan said.

The high school starts the earliest of all the schools in the district but also gets out the earliest.

“I don’t think we should have a later start time. I feel like since we get out early, there is more time for after school stuff. I have more time for sports, hanging out with friends, and eating,” Pan said.

For more information, visit sleepfoundation.org.