Should School Start Later?


Every day, high school students are expected to wake up early, get ready, and head to school by 8 AM. They spend approximately 6 hours in school completing work and socializing. After any extracurricular activities, students then head home. The average high school student has around an hour of homework per night they are expected to have ready the following day. Children in high school need at least 8-10 hours of sleep each night. With this in mind, the question that is asked by most students heading to school in the morning is: “Is this schedule fair?” I took it upon myself to go directly to the students and see what their thoughts on the matter are.

The interviewees were kept anonymous in order to ensure that they gave the most accurate and realistic information in their responses. We asked each student a total of three questions. We asked: what time they go to sleep at the latest on a school night, what time they have to wake up in the morning for school, and if they think school should start later, and why?

Student one responded that they go to bed at one am at the latest, and has to wake up at 6:30 AM to get ready for school. This is only five hours and thirty minutes of sleep per night. The student has trouble functioning in school and feels tired throughout the day. She acknowledges that she needs more sleep, and for these reasons feels that school should begin later in the morning.

The next student interviewed had very similar responses to student one. This student goes to bed at two AM at the latest and has to wake up at six AM in order to be on time for school. He thought that school should start later in the morning considering that he does not feel awake during the day.

Following the trend, the next student felt that school should start later. They felt that having to wake up early and in turn be tired during the day has a great impact on the quality of their schoolwork and education. The latest this student goes to bed on a school night is 12:30 and the student must wake up at 6 AM. Student three shockingly went to bed at five AM on a school night and still managed to get up at 6:30 for school. Although tired, he doesn’t feel that school should start later because he sees exhaustion as a sacrifice he is willing to make in order to get out of school earlier.

The next student interviewed goes to bed at a more reasonable time. She stated that she goes to bed at 10:45 at the latest on a school night and wakes up at 6:30. She expressed that she thinks it would be beneficial for school to start a bit later, but to an extent considering the amount of sports and extracurriculars that take place after school.

The final student interviewed has gone to bed at midnight at the latest and wakes up at 5:30 AM for school. She felt that school should start earlier to give students time to wake up and feel ready for school. She added that school could be shortened as an alternative to beginning school at a later time.

Evidently, many students agree that school should start later. Some may argue that students should prioritize falling asleep earlier to prevent drowsiness during the day. In response to this, it is clear that whether or not they are tired at school, high school students tend to and will stay up late. The education system should recognize this fact, and use the information given to help students achieve greatness in school which they cannot do while tired and drained!