Mornings are hit-or-miss for high schoolers


Freshman Andrew Shepel begins each day with a wonderfully crafted breakfast. 

“[The] best part of my morning is after my first hour,” Andrew said. “My mom will bring me food before my second Zoom. My favorite is pancakes and sausage.”

Andrew wakes up every morning right before his first-hour Zoom, throws a cozy sweatshirt on, and begins his day. He claims his morning routine has not changed since online classes have started and that the only difference is the fact that he wakes up an hour later than he used to.  

“I’m a morning person,” Andrew said. “I mean, I like the morning, but I also like to sleep in.” 

Despite not minding the mornings, Andrew would sleep in and spend the day in bed if given the chance. When he has free time in this routine, though, he enjoys the company of his bed and phone. 

Andrew and all FHC students are adapting their morning routines to fit the unique learning situations including the current full-time online school arrangement.

Sophomore Jordyn Reens pulls herself out of bed before necessary, gets dressed, then joins her Zoom call. She chooses to use her morning time wisely, but similarly to Andrew, she gets to sleep in with online school.

“I would wake up a lot earlier than I do now [for in-person learning],” Jordyn said, “that’s the only change, really, other than the fact that I don’t go to school.” 

Nonetheless, Jordyn doesn’t allow online learning to drastically change her old morning routine. She gets dressed for class each morning and assures she is presentable for her Zooms. And she still grabs breakfast, preferring a healthy option rather than the alternative choice of a sugary meal. 

And while Jordyn still diligently prepares for online learning, junior Holly McLenithan struggles to wake up most mornings.

For Holly, getting out of bed is a hard thing to do, especially when school is involved. Sitting on Zoom calls is not her cup of tea, and the knowledge that her day will mainly consist of Zoom calls does not help Holly get out of her bed.  

“My mom usually has to help me get up,” Holly said. “On the days I’m running late [to class], my morning routine doesn’t really consist of anything other than brushing my teeth.” 

And while Holly runs late to school some days, she manages to get out of bed on time if her mother chimes in. On these early-morning days, Holly goes beyond just brushing her teeth.  

“It kind [of] depends on what I’m doing that day,” Holly said. “If I have work later, or if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll do my makeup. If it’s a drag day, I’ll just stay in my pajamas.”

No matter the day, though, Holly always makes sure to eat something for breakfast. Whether it’s a granola bar or a bowl of oatmeal, she can count on having something to fill her up and give her brainpower, even if the day is just full of Zooms. 

Somehow, breakfast isn’t even the best part of Holly’s morning. She instead finds enjoyment in the rest of her morning routine on days she has time to really pamper herself.

“The best part of my morning is definitely doing my makeup,” Holly said. “I know that’s super girly of me, but I really really love makeup. I just really enjoy doing it.” 

Holly claims that, with the help of doing her makeup, she feels better about the day and feels ready for what is to come. On the days she can’t out of bed early and spend time getting ready, she struggles with the rest of her day.  

“On the days I’m late for first hour,” Holly said, “I’m definitely falling asleep in my other classes because if I’m late, I’ll just join on my phone. So I’ll just do [that] for the next hour and [then] the next hour.” 

Being forced to attend AP World History doesn’t help Holly’s tendency to fall asleep or join on her phone. Starting her day by taking notes and listening to a lecture is far from her favorite thing, but, on the days she can get up early, she finds she can get more work done and feels more empowered than days prior. 

And as everyone’s routine varies, phones remain a constant across the board. For Holly and many similar students, their morning routines can be unpredictable but always involve their phones.

“I usually go on my phone for too long, usually make myself late [because of my phone],” Holly said. “I usually spend 15-20 minutes on my phone.”