Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lara, as in Croft, and I am the new editor-in-chief of Ke Kalahea, the student run campus newspaper. There are going to be few changes, as you will see in this issue. One of said changes is the addition of a sports section. Yet another change is the introduction of a sex and relationships column. The latter of these columns is meant to be informative and scientific, not raunchy and vulgar, and that’s how we would like to keep things.
Well, now that we are all used to writing 15s rather than 14s in our planners, on homework assignments, quizzes and when signing highly important documents (hopefully deposit slips for our personal bank accounts), I suppose we could consider this a good time to start settling into our schedules… if we can. I have noticed a crazed look in people’s tired eyes as they run from class to class before heading off to work then back to class again, and finally home to do laundry, clean and ‘cook rice.’ We forget to eat lunch and try to cram homework in anywhere we can. I know that for myself, being the newly appointed editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, life just got a heck of a lot more interesting. I hold to a personal belief that we should rise to challenges and not give up when things get hard… and now that I think about it, this may explain why I find myself firmly lodged in my current predicament.
Is anyone else out there suffering from sleep deprivation? I know I definitely am and, according to a study conducted by Brown University, I am not the only one. Did you know that there is a meager portion of college students (11 percent) who actually get a good night’s sleep? The other 73 percent, myself included, report having problems sleeping. Added bonus? According to Health Research Funding, 30 percent of women and 17 percent of men claim to suffer from insomnia, while a survey conducted by the American College Health Association found that students feel ‘sleepy or dragged out’ most of the time. Really? So, being a female college student, I can safely assume that my sleep patterns are thoroughly attached to another object by an inclined plane and wrapped helically around an axis!
So where am I going with this? That is a great question. Perhaps the fact that I am so sleep deprived has impaired my judgment and I can’t possibly formulate a cohesive conclusion to all of this, but I am not one to walk away from a challenge! There must be a solution to this problem.
How can we creatively combat sleep deprivation? Some college campuses are actively trying to tackle this scientifically proclaimed mountain of a problem. For example, at Hastings College they hand out earplugs to students. Now… from personal experience, hiking across Spain and having to sleep in a room full of very large snoring men with massive lung capacities every night for over a month, I have found that earplugs do in fact work, but only to a certain extent. After a couple of hours they begin to irritate your ears and you run the risk of inadvertently pulling them out during the night, rendering them much less effective.
Cornell University has taken a different approach, offering classes which show hard evidence, data and photos to students demonstrating the effects of sleep deprivation on humans. So far, they have found it to be the most effective method in changing student behavior. The school’s basketball coach apparently took a hint, and canceled early morning practices. That same year the team advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Coincidence? Perhaps. Then there is my personal favorite. Duke University adopted, what I can only call, ‘the pro-active approach’ and canceled all of their 8 a.m. classes.
As much as I love the idea of school starting at 9 a.m., a majority of my classes are scheduled for 8 a.m. and I do realize that it would be harder to advance my college career without them. Aside from that, if I was allowed the extra time to sleep in, I would more than likely still be awakened by our exceedingly friendly, neighborhood roosters, crowing their tail-feathers off at six in the morning.
So, what’s the point? Maybe there isn’t one. All I could say would be, know that you are not alone in this zombie take over. Don’t lose hope and keep that positivity shining through in your newfound nutball smile, just try to figure out what works for you… for your own sanity. As for me, that may just mean making chicken nuggets out of rooster meat.
Editor in Chief