Early Bird Catches the Worm?


Argument Against Making School Starting Later:

Does the early bird really get the worm? This fact proves itself to be correct. According to Publicagenda.org, about 85% of students who participate in after school activities are better off. Achieving higher grades, taking part in volunteering, or joining clubs are all among those activities. Without the time in the afternoon to endure these activities, it just simply won’t be possible.

Yes, all teenagers will agree with the endeavor of getting up at 6 AM is a drag and no one wants to do it practically all year. But its simply impossible to imagine what life would be like if we got out of school at say 5 o’clock. In the winter it would be dark, so for sports wheres the time to take part in them?

There is always a plus to getting up later, like sleeping in, acquiring more energy to get through the day but when it comes to our afternoons we’re ultimately losing them completely. Not only now would students have to stay up later at night to finish homework than the usual time until about ten at night but that ends with a chain reaction, taking away valuable sleep that we usually get by being dismissed from school at an earlier time. Since we’re getting home later, we’d be starting our school work later.

Despite the time we get out of school, the amount of homework will take the same amount of time to complete. Therefore if it is started an hour later, it will be completed an hour later. This throws our entire schedule forward by one hour, making the time we go to bed later; Thus making school an hour later does not allow us to get any more sleep than we already do.

It’s not exactly a fair trade off because in the case of making school later we may be getting up later, but with all the studying and homework we’re required to do we’d be going to bed even later – therefore getting the same amount of sleep we did before. In the end, sleep isn’t gained anywhere.

What’s the point of changing what we already know? Being a person who has never preferred a radical position, I lean more towards routine. I strongly believe that  many others similar to me would think the same.

Likewise, during my times as a middle school student student I’ve taken part in activities that happened outside the boundaries of our school. When I was in middle school and the time in which we were dismissed was later I had a great difficulty making my practice in a few towns over. It happened to be in Groton where their school was let go at the same time our high school is currently. If our middle school had gotten out at least an hour earlier I could have made my practice perfectly fine. Clearly, it  doesn’t just affect our academics but also our athletic lives.

Additionally, with keeping our usual time at 7:40 we can now take part in our usual clubs and finish our homework, and then are still able to get to bed at a decent time. Nonetheless, of course other factors lay hand in hand such as procrastination and ability to learn more when you’re more awake but if the students are getting to bed much later evidently, that factor is pretty much canceled out.


Argument for Making School Start Later:

Every weekday morning the alarm clock goes off. We drag ourselves out of bed and start to get ready for the day. How many times have we told ourselves “just five more minutes?” Five extra minutes of sleep in the morning seems to make a huge difference. Now imagine an entire hour.

Many of us get up even before the sun rises in order to shower, do chores, walk the dog, or any other miscellaneous reasons.  Chances are, many of us stayed up late, doing homework, sports, other extra curricular activities, spending time with friends and family, etc. According to WJCT News, it has been proven that teenagers are on a different natural sleep pattern than adults.  Most of us go to bed late and get up late. So why does school start so early?

40 percent of high schools start before 8:00 AM.  Adolescent brains are still in “sleep mode” for the first two hours of school, causing us to be at a serious disadvantage for the first two periods of everyday.

WJCT goes on to say, “the brain chemical melatonin, which is responsible for sleepiness, is secreted from approximately 11:00 PM until approximately 8:00 AM. Typical teens are not able to fall asleep much before 11:00 PM, and their brains will remain in sleep mode until about 8:00 AM, regardless of what time they go to bed.”

The most common argument against later start times is sports after school. However how can a student be expected to excel in both sports and academics if they are sleep deprived?  A Rhode Island study shows that  85 percent of students were chronically sleep-deprived. They get ten hours less than necessary every week.

By starting school later, we will be dismissed around 3:20 rather than 2:20. Students in elementary school are able to participate in after school activities despite the slightly later time. We should be able to make this adjustment as well, allowing us to sleep in.