Current school start times are sufficient


Photo by Emily Zhao

Students work or talk to others during Rocket Time in the morning.

Delaney Crawley, Opinions Writer

My day usually consists of waking up at 6 a.m. after staying up until midnight doing homework, attending my classes, going to field hockey practice for two hours, completing two hours of doing homework, studying, doing chores and then making time for sleep. 

I’d like to highlight that my “waking up” is more closely related to a slow and defiant drag out of bed.

There’s no question that I am extremely tired at 6 in the morning. Lack of sleep and lack of energy does a great job of taking care of that. But when asked if I would prefer that school started later, I would have to say no. 

Pushing back high school start times would mess up the whole system that’s been established: practice times, bus routes, elementary and middle school start times, and more. It would also just inadequately prepare us for our futures. Once we all eventually enter the workforce, we can’t just skip out on the first half of the morning because we are tired. MCPS are training us now for what is enviable in our futures.

Although the eye of the morning is tiresome, the time you go to sleep is an equally important factor. Everyone I interviewed said their worst habit when it comes to school is procrastination. I see how waiting until the last minute to do your assignments could put you to sleep at unthinkable times. “I am the king of procrastination, I don’t do anything until the last five minutes I can.” said freshman Ryan Mattox.

Senior Jayden Decoysta has his routine down pat, and after four long years of high school and football, he can still wake up at 6:15 without feeling tired whatsoever. His secret? He has little homework in his classes at night, and doesn’t fall behind on his assignments. 

Honestly, students could do to get some time management skills from people like Decoysta. The goal is not to constantly complain and try to get out of waking up, but to get accustomed to it, and make it come naturally. 

It’s evident why people struggle with waking up in the morning; no one goes to sleep at a decent hour. Many student athletes have two hour practices and then come home not even started with their hours of homework, or simply staying up scrolling away at their phones. 

There would really be no point of implementing later start times when that isn’t the root of the problem. If I were to guess, the amount of homework that is given to students is the real issue that needs to be addressed. “I would say that I have five out of seven classes have homework every night,” said Kelsey Lee. That response was pretty much across the board, and although homework is important, there really isn’t a point to it if you are practically falling asleep while you do it. 

It’s not only the amount of homework per night, but the study and procrastination habits of students as well. Many feel as if they “don’t know how to study” or never really developed any good study habits. If relentless study keeps you up at night, of course It would be difficult to wake up in the morning. 

The pressures of school, sports, and just general stress can also make it very difficult to fall asleep at night. Getting trapped in your own thoughts is one of the most annoying things that can happen when you are exhausted to the point where you just want to crash. Shutting off your phone or even just taking a mental health can help reverse some of those insomniac habits. 

Schools don’t need to change start times. They need to implement study groups, ease up on the homework, realize many students have other responsibilities, and just in general be more aware of something that will always be true; students are not machines. Rocket Time is the first step towards that. Waking up early is something every student needs to get accustomed to, better now than later.