Can the early bird catch the worm?

Eden Beatty, staff writer

Students everywhere around the world wake up early for school each morning. But is waking up so early healthy for their personal growth, or only hurting them in the end? A recent #DoNowFirstBell was posed to students regarding this exact question as experts are claiming students should start school later to improve academic success.

Kids all around the world go to school. It’s what makes them a student. Students are expected to wake up, get ready, and have a good breakfast every day before school starts. However, class time has been starting earlier and earlier each year. The average adolescent needs 6-8 hours of sleep to be considered “well rested.” The average starting time for schools around the globe is 7:59 A.M. That means kids would need to be asleep, not go to sleep, but be asleep, by 10:59 P.M. just to wake up at that exact time. They would have to be asleep by 9:00 A.M or 10:00 A.M. in order to wake up early enough to prepare for school. Knowing our teens, in this day and age, a lot of teenagers like to stay awake during the night. This makes them tired during the day, and therefore affects their participation and concentration in school. Would pushing school starting times back to later in the day help pull up students’ participation and grades?

Some students say yes, it would. Lilly Daoust says it would. “I think that students should start school later. They should start later so that students can have more time to rest. You can go to sleep early but waking up early is hard either way and students are angrier and less willing to learn in the morning if they’re tired.” Daoust commented. Students aren’t the only ones who wake up a bit cranky. Anybody who had to get up early may be a bit upset about it. The stereotype for teenagers are them being hard-headed and arrogant sometimes. More often than not, some say. Though, this can be true. Their stubbornness to get what they want is what mainly causes them to fail. Gabby Houde also thinks school should start later. “Starting school early makes students less ready to learn, but starting later allows slacking off. We should be able to start an hour or two later, to get healthier sleeping habits.” Houde had argued. 7:59 A.M. is only the average starting time. There are times that start even earlier than that, which means going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier for our teens. It can disrupt students’ daily lives and cause stress if they wake up late, or miss the bus, or maybe even cause the student to skip breakfast. Maybe having the class starting times so early isn’t such a good idea.

However, there is a counter for this argument. Morgan Gersch thinks school times should stay the same. “Schools shouldn’t start later because it will lead to the same amount of sleep as an early start.” Gersch had mentioned. Not all students stay up late, and have a working sleep schedule. If the school times were pushed back, those students would either have to change their sleeping schedule, or stay away longer before school starts, potentially giving them time to only become tired again from being awake for so long. Sitting at home before school starts may also cause students more stress. They could worry about getting distracted after they finish getting ready and miss the bus, or start worrying about if they forgot anything and stress themselves out even more. Aubrey Azhderian doesn’t think it makes that much of a difference. “Starting later doesn’t seem that appealing when you realize it ends an hour later too.” She had reminded us. That much is true- School starting later means school ending later as well. It wouldn’t change the amount of school hours- just when those hours were. Starting and getting out of school later might also disrupt older students’ jobs or extracurricular activities.

School starting times are early- that much you know. Would it help or hurt to push back the times schools start their classes? In some cases, it would help the students. It would help them even out sleeping schedules and give them more time to prepare for their learning experience. They’d be less tired and more willing to learn. On the other hand, later starting times may ruin already-set sleeping schedules and give students more time to get distracted and slack off. It may get in the way of job schedules for both students and parents, and just take more time getting used to. Either way, keeping the times the same or changing them both have their ups and downs. Are some pros worth the cons, or are the cons too much to deal with? In a lot of cases, yes, late start would benefit the students. Yet it some, it may make life a bit more difficult.