El Estoque

Maximum pride with minimum hours

Vijeta Tandon

Students equate higher levels of efficiency and achievement with fewer hours of sleep at night.

The coolest new cell phone, a 4.0 GPA, stellar SAT scores, and the fewest hours of sleep each night. At first glance, these four things seem to have no relation to each other whatsoever. According to the general buzz around campus, however, these are all qualities which students commonly compete against each other for.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the general belief in the minds of MVHS students seems to be that by getting, and even falsely proclaiming to be getting, fewer hours of sleep each night, students are somehow giving others the impression that they are busier and thus more competent than their peers. The main problem with this assumption is that it completely overlooks the concept of efficiency.
By unnecessarily multi-tasking and wasting time, students lower their overall productivity and work inefficiently. Inefficiency is a life skill that no one actually wants, yet MVHS students seem to cultivate it enthusiastically. Why do students choose to do so? For some reason, MVHS students think they look “cool” the next day when they brag to their friends about getting only three hours of sleep the previous night. The harsh truth is that students remain exhausted and are not able to fully concentrate on other aspects of their life either, often leading to personal and emotional conflicts.
The irony of the situation is that students continue to be proud of their inefficiency, by proclaiming how they pulled an all-nighter in order to finish studying for an upcoming test and finish the piles of homework they ahve to do. Other participants in the conversation seem to acknowledge the fact with admiration, as though bags under eyes and body fatigue signal excellence in some mysterious way. Is forced insomnia the epitome of academic excellence? MVHS students sure make it out to be.
When confronted about their inefficiency, some students respond defensively by proclaiming that they really did stay up all night working sincerely.  This seems extremely unlikely. Even if the student did stay up the whole night studying, it is because they did not effectively utilize the time they had earlier in the day, or continued to waste time during the night when they were supposedly working. It is impossible for someone to have more than ten hours of homework to do in a single day; instead, this is just a result of continued inefficiency over a long period of time.
On the other hand, when a student mentions how he or she gets at least eight hours of sleep every night, observers automatically assume that the student must be taking easy classes, or must not be participating in any extracurricular activities. Noone bothers to appreciate the student’s efficiency, or commend the student on his organizational and prioritizing skills. The general response to both of these two scenarios should actually be switched.
We as students should strive to become more skilled, and thus organized workers. This means doing one task at a time, and learning how to prioritize activities in order of importance. Instead of listening to music, eating dinner, chatting online, and doing homework at the same time, it would be a much wiser decision to do these things one by one in a sensible order. Not only does this cut total time spent pouring over homework and studying, it also gives students a sense of accomplishment and peace of mind while doing other activities afterwards.
Furthermore, knowing how to prioritize and learning how to focus on the task at hand are skills which will help students succeed throughout life in whatever we do. By not learning these skills when we have the opportunity to do so without having to face any extremely dire consequences, we are making our own future harder for us.
Also, by admiring those who are efficient and successful, we can gradually rectify this culture of sleep-deprivation. This will result in a higher productivity rate and will lead to a healthier and more energized student body.
 So please, instead of reading this article at 1 a.m. while pretending to study for your Chemistry Honors test, go to sleep. Your mind and body will thank you.