Students balance sleep and school

Gabriel Lizama, Staff Reporter

Students are in the fourth week of classes and are adapting to the online environment. With no in-person office hours or classes to show up to on campus, students are forced into developing new sleeping patterns to adjust.

With the stay-at-home order effective until May 31, students face the battle of working remotely. 

Jared Cloud, a senior business and administration major with a specialization in finance, said he misses a regimented schedule on campus. Being in class allowed him to understand what was expected day to day. He said showing up forced him to pay attention since he was already there.

Cloud said adapting to the online format was not a hard transition until the quarter progressed. Cloud enjoys having the ability to sleep in and not wake up early to conduct morning workouts. Cloud is taking 18 credits this quarter and said it has been his biggest challenge in four years. The online format consumes a lot of time. 

A normal day for Cloud starts at 7 a.m. taking care of his dog, working out, doing homework, having family time and doing more homework. Cloud said his biggest recommendation for professors is to be flexible during this time.

“One thing that I think is important for professors is that they should not compensate for more assignments for not having in person classes,” Cloud said.

Cloud said he hasn’t lost motivation to do things but looks at this as a test of discipline and keeps in mind his end goal of graduating. However, Cloud misses the friendships and bonds that were created on campus.

“My friends are my family away from home and I can rely on them for anything,” Cloud said. “They make everything in life better.”

Bram Wiggins, a senior public relations major, said he hasn’t felt any change to his sleep schedule. Wiggins has experienced taking two classes previously online and is familiar with virtual learning.

Wiggins said he misses being in person for classes. He said the biggest problem with online classes is how long it takes professors to reply to emails because students end up having to put assignments off. Another difficulty he has is the amount of time it takes to do all his assignments. 

Wiggins said he’s definitely lost motivation to do homework due to being distant from professors and not being able to socialize in person.

“Not having the ability to go and talk to people and socialize really sucks,” Wiggins said. “Everyday is the same thing and it gets boring doing the same things everyday.”

During his free time, Wiggins enjoys going on long walks outside. He looks forward to May 5 because restrictions will be lifted on hunting and fishing.

Health Education Coordinator Sabeth Jackson has been a health educator for three years. Jackson said it’s important for students to maintain their overall health, especially during these times.

Jackson said college is a time when sleep is often ignored and is one of the most important aspects of cognitive development. There are multiple things that affect sleep patterns, including social opportunities, studying late and using different substances, according to Jackson. 

The minds of college students are still developing and require nine hours a night to fully develop, which is not what a typical college student gets, according to Jackson. There are studies that show sleep deprived students perform significantly worse than those who were not deprived, Jackson said. 

Jackson remembers being a college student and cramming for a test. She thought if she stayed up studying, she would perform better. Jackson said if students work harder at the expense of sleep, they may not even be aware of the effects and perform worse. 

According to Jackson, the biggest challenge for students is figuring out how to work remotely online. Jackson said everything students are accustomed to is not the same and will require more discipline.

“Setting specific times to do work and separating locations is the most important thing to create a schedule or structure for students at home,” Jackson said.

Jackson recommends students adjust as necessary to be successful. 

“During this time it is important to be patient, kind and do the best during these times,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the Wellness Center is offering a new course in May that is available to students to help with what they need in different areas such as sleep, study skills and health.