Teenagers aren’t just tired


My best friends schedule one day. It was packed, she had back to back activities the whole day.

They’re not just tired. It’s not that they didn’t sleep well the night before. It’s not because they try to stay awake.

They just are exhausted.

It’s hard. It’s seven hours at school and then usually two or three hours at a sport or activity. Then, it’s an hour or two of homework. It’s hard.

It’s not that they’re struggling to manage their time, either. They can use every second they have in school and still have an hour’s worth to do at home. It’s a lot to do, and it’s exhausting.

It is recommended that a teenager gets 8-10 hours of sleep a night. But, that is so hard to accomplish given everything that a teenager does.

Let’s use my schedule as an example. I wake up at 5:30 every morning. I get to school at 7:00 a.m. every day. I leave school around 3:00 p.m. After school, I either go to work or rehearsal, and I am there until usually 8:00 p.m. I then make my way home, arriving at, let’s say, 8:30 p.m. I eat dinner, take a shower, and start homework between 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. On a good day, I’ll be done with homework by 10:00 p.m., and on a bad day, it will be 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. After I finish my homework, I brush my hair and do all of my bathroom needs. I get in bed by 11:30 p.m., and I usually fall asleep around 12:00 a.m. That gives me five and a half hours of sleep.

They’re not trying not to sleep, and they’re not trying to pack their schedules. It just happens to be that way, and they are exhausted.

They’re not trying not to sleep, and they’re not trying to pack their schedules. It just happens to be that way, and they are exhausted.

I don’t have a practical solution. To me, I think the right answer is to keep schoolwork at school. Don’t assign homework. Then, teenagers won’t have to spend unreasonable amounts of time on work at home. But, I don’t think that is very practical.

My other solution is to have a four-day school week. Give students Fridays off. That way, they can take that time to rest and relax. I know that isn’t very practical either.

Having a four-day week would mean that the school year would need to be longer in order to make up for all of the required days. I’m sure some people would be upset about that, but it would provide more time for relaxation during the week.

But, whether there is a solution or not, when a teenager says “I’m exhausted,” they aren’t just being dramatic. They are exhausted because so much is expected of them and they pack their schedule as full as possible.

People think that the solution is to drop extracurricular activities, but this isn’t something that students should have to do in order to have downtime. Why give up the thing that they choose to do? Why give up the thing that looks good on a college application?

It’s not fair to tell people to give up their extracurriculars just because they don’t get enough sleep at night. It’s not fair to ask them to drop the things they actually enjoy. The solution is to give them less to do at home so that they can relax after their long day.

It’s not that they try not to sleep at night. It’s not that they are just tired. It’s that they have so much on their plate, and they use every second they can until they physically can’t work anymore.

Teenagers aren’t lazy; they work really hard. They sleep in their free time because it’s the only chance they get. They sleep in their free time because they do so much.

They aren’t lazy. They aren’t just tired. They’re exhausted.