As I write, my 17-year-old rising senior is napping on the couch. It’s 1:00pm, and I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, the very depths of maternal instinct are satisfied by seeing my boy peacefully curled up with a cat and a blankie. On the other hand, does this mean he’ll be up until 4am and sleep through tomorrow? And what about working on those college applications? Should he be giving up the nap to get the work done?
This is the question you will face (have already faced, my beloved rising college frosh and transfer students) each day you live the life of a student. How will you answer?
Not that you asked, but here’s my advice. Sleep. Sleep a lot. Sleep more than you have as a high school student. Sleep to keep your brain nimble and healthy. Sleep to keep your fearless body healthy. Sleep to be a good student. Sleep to be a good friend. SLEEP.
Because on a scale of Whatever to Important, sleep is right up there at SUPER important. And because on a scale of What’s Not In My Control to What’s In My Control, sleep is right up there as one of the very things you get to exercise your control over. If time is the one thing in life that ticks on relentlessly, we think we can have more of it by foregoing sleep. Sure, but at a cost. Just ask this guy.
Sleep itself isn’t that memorable (though falling asleep sure is delicious) but without it, all hell breaks loose.
DON’T LET ALL HELL BREAK LOOSE!
Three hours of tired studying is not as effective as one hour of well-rested studying.
It’s 3pm, and my son is still sleeping. I’m just going to call it good and feel safe in the knowledge that all sleep, whenever the body demands it, is a good thing. And without a true summer schedule, then why not!
Sleep it up, folks, for September brings classes, and with classes, come demands. And you might start to feel a little constrained. Which might make you want to exercise your control. Which might make you decide to sleep less. I encourage you to notice how good sleep is, and cling to that memory when you have a choice between all-nighter studying or sleeping.