College life: from A to Z-Z-Z-Z

Opinion posted March 27, 2013 in News by Nia Nicholson


            On Wednesday, I start to get ready at 9 a.m. for my Women, Minorities in the Media class that runs from 10:10 to 11 a.m.

 After that, I have a Magazine Writing class that goes from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.

 I eat lunch and respond to emails between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

At 1:35 p.m., I am out the door and on my way to my office hours. As a student conduct adviser, I sit and listen to other students’ disciplinary problems, help write their opening statements for hearings and also attend hearings with them.

 My office hours last from 2 to 4 p.m.

 At 4:05 p.m., I am on my journey to begin the second half of my class day, which is a Copy Editing course from 4:40 to 6:35 p.m.

 When I leave, I hike to the other side of campus for my final class of the day, a Sociology of Deviance discussion group from 7 until 8 p.m.

 I get home around 8:30 and I eat dinner, while answering emails and watching TV. After dinner, I begin my homework because I clearly have no time during the day to do it and, depending on what is due, my homework can take me until 2 a.m.

 By the time I know it, I have to wake up to be at my Journalism Commentary Writing class by 9:45 a.m. 

I also have a job I attend five days out of the week. I work eight-hour shifts on Saturdays and Sundays and work four-hour shifts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

If you haven’t noticed, nowhere in that schedule did I mention sleep. Sleep is a rare thing to experience in college. Free time is non-existent. If I am doing something fun, it’s because I am not doing something I am supposed to be doing. That’s how I end up pulling all-nighters because all my work piles up.

On average, I get around five or six hours of sleep a night. A Central Michigan University study done in 2008 said that the sleeping patterns of college students have detrimental effects on daily performance, including academics and driving, and are also linked to depression and behavioral problems.

You are supposed to get eight hours of sleep per day to stay in good health, according to the study. College students are among the most sleep-deprived age group in the U.S.            

The study showed the average hours of sleep for college students was seven, but it depends on what is going on that week. When I surveyed my friends, if it’s a test heavy week, the average amount of sleep is cut to five or six hours. And only God can help us during finals week, when students average three to four hours of sleep.

Are there solutions to this problem? The first thing is to notice the danger signs of sleep deprivation. If you start to find yourself falling asleep in class, it’s time for a new routine.      If that doesn’t work for you here are some tips the “experts” say will be beneficial: time management, turning off your cellphone, setting boundaries, exercise (Who has time for that?) and becoming a pro napper (This is more my down my lane). 

My agenda book is my best friend. I literally don’t go anywhere without it. I don’t make plans without consulting it first. The best way that I have come up with for me to get more sleep is to always plan ahead. If you knowing what needs to be done and how long it will take, it enables you to schedule appropriate times to get whatever work is due done, which is imperative.

            Another way to try to get more sleep is by the opposite of what I am doing right now. At this moment, it is currently midnight and I am writing this article. I should have tried to start it earlier, but then again you did just read my schedule.