Running Through Time


Joe Kimura

Leslie Kimura 24’ and Sara Alaya 22’ getting ready for their leg of the 4×8 at the Eastern Iowa Track & Field Festival

School. The place you go five days a week. Seven hours a day. The place you doze off your first few periods. The place that you dread going to as you wake up at 7:30. That’s school. School is tiring and stressful, especially when you have to wake up so early in the morning to sit in a classroom for hours on end, learning about the same things over and over again like a broken record. School should start later and be shorter.    

You might be asking, why would we make school shorter? According to the CDC the average teenager needs 8-10 hours of sleep every night. In a study of over 50,000 students the average teenager has approximately 2 hours and 42 minutes of homework to complete every weeknight and we are at school for 7 hours a day. Where does this leave time for us to have social lives? To get enough sleep? All of this leaves us with 2 hours and 18 minutes to 4 hours and 18 minutes of the day for ourselves. 83% of students participate in extracurriculars. Those who do participate on average have 2 hours of practice everyday on top of all our homework and the jobs the schools are telling us to get. 30 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes. The amount of time to shower or clean the room we can’t see the floor of. It’s too much for us children to compete in a day. 

    In a Stanford poll results show that 87% of teenagers get less than the recommended sleep marker. This causes major sleep deprivation which can lead to some short term problems like lack of alertness, impaired memory and relationship stress (etc.). If this sleep pattern continues there could be more serious long term problems, some of which being high blood pressure, depression, and even a heart attack. Having a teenager be up and moving at 7:30 is equivalent to having an adult be up and moving at 5:30. Our brains have not fully turned on and having us driving to school, participating in a class that will affect our college career and/or the rest of our lives is a problem. Teenagers’ brains don’t fully wake up until about 10 AM. ICCSD high schools start at 8:50. With us having homework on top of homework on top of homework results are teens not getting enough sleep.

    Some may believe that starting school earlier could be more beneficial in a time saving kind of way, however you are tired all throughout the day  dozing on and off trying to be alert enough to know when the bell rings. You get little to no rest between each horrifying nightmare. This is something most already know as their everyday lives. Wake up – School – Practice – Homework – Sleep. Yes you can have more time to work after school, or to hangout with friends, but at what cost? as a varsity track and field athlete I have struggled for years trying to balance all of these things at once, and at one point it had all just fallen apart for me. We are forced to choose what things are most important in our lives, whether it be our friendships or our grades. This is unfair to the youth who must continue the tradition of excellence here at West High School.