One-hour delays should be recurring, as the extra hour of sleep for the student body is nourishing

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A screenshot of my unrealistic bedtime and wake up alarm that nevertheless, I avoid out of exhaustion.

Wednesdays are typically my favorite day of the week—not only because it’s the halfway mark until the weekend, but also because hour delays are rewarded to the student body.

But that beloved extra hour of sleep is only given every other week. 

Seven hours a day, five days a week, the high school students of FHC are stuck in a classroom working towards college, working to impress parents, and working towards that gleaming 4.0 GPA. 

But how hard can one really work on seven hours of sleep?

According to an article based upon teenage health habits, teens aged 13-18 years old should be getting at least 8-10 hours of sleep every 24 hours (How Much Sleep Do I Need? (for Teens) – Nemours Kidshealth, 2019). That would mean that—if waking up at 6:30 a.m. for the average school start time of 7:30 a.m.—one should be asleep by 10:30 p.m. at the latest in order to achieve this healthy amount of sleep. 

Although this recommendation may seem accurate, it is extremely unrealistic. The majority of high school students participate in after-school sports, clubs, and activities that take up a good chunk of their afternoon; therefore, homework gets pushed back to late hours of the night, causing students to do some late-night studying.

It provides that extra hour for students that they missed, it provides that cup of coffee that got wasted this morning. It provides nourishment and something to look forward to.”

And with these extracurriculars being ever so time-consuming, this 8-10 hours of sleep requirement is unachievable at the expense of school rules. Students cannot go home and take an after-school nap to make up for the sleep they lacked the night before; they’re too busy on the football field, or at band practice, or at a chess club meeting. And that’s why schools, FHC specifically, needs to—at the least—grant these hour delays weekly. 

It provides that extra hour for students that they missed, it provides that cup of coffee that got wasted this morning, and it provides nourishment and something to look forward to.

Think about it: last year, because of complications with COVID-19, school was dismissed at 2:10 PM. This year, as COVID-19 restrictions died down, FHC returned to 2:45 PM dismissal—a bummer right? 

But teachers fit in just the right amount of teaching in that shortened school year; so how would making that one-hour delay more common change any amount of time spent teaching? The answer is, it wouldn’t. 

Essentially, there are no disadvantages to adding this hour delay to the weekly schedule; it only provides positive outcomes for not only students but teachers and staff as well. It will make for better performance and better attitudes throughout the duration of the school day, and logistically, that’s all that matters.

Colleges don’t look at how many hours a day students were in school; they look at how outstanding the academic performance is, how many extracurriculars are listed, and how a student’s work ethic appears. And with that extra hour of sleep, students can give those schools exactly what they’re out for.