It is no secret that generation y and generation z college students are very different than other college students in the past. Being the first age of digital technology is a tiring job for us! Because we are the age of the internet, most assignments, quizzes and even tests are online for us. When looking at a computer or phone screen, eyes typically tend to blink less from concentration on all of the colors within the screen. This type of open eye activity is very straining on the eyes and can lead to increased tiredness within the day. I know many people at college who have a daily nap whether it be for 30 minutes or 2 hours, I have never understood why. So my first year at college consisted of me vetoing naptime.
Going into college, I came from a high school where only part of our classwork was online, so my eyes were not used to the type of strain they would have once college homework kicked in. I also never got less than 6 hours of sleep before school. Coming from a place of not really being used to doing work online and always having a good sleep pattern came my school year long experiment. I have never been a fan of naps, every time after waking up from one I feel discombobulated and lazier than I began feeling. So my experiment was to count how many times I napped during my first year, along with my sleeping patterns. Here is what I found out…
While some may enjoy taking naps, they are not completely necessary if you manage your time well. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be, the majority of college is time management. If you really devote yourself to your sleep schedule it will help you in ways unimaginable. Cutting naps out of your life give you more time to do other things such as: hanging out with friends, spending more time on an important paper or studying for a big test. My roommate and I have a general rule of lights out by 12:00-1:00 AM because we both have 9 AM classes in the mornings. Typically we get 7-8 hours of sleep and it holds the both of us until that night. We both currently have 3.6+GPAs and are a part of many things here on campus. With the time we have from not napping we are able to do more things and (ultimately) able to do better in school.
How do I do it? Well, with treating Friday nights like any other school night, I am able to get the majority of my homework for the weekend done. This leads to the ability of sleeping in on the weekend. At the end of the week you will sometimes feel exhausted, but if you finish all of your homework around 10:30 PM, watch a movie before bed then wake up around 10:30 AM, you feel completely energized, because not only did you get the right amount of sleep, you got more than necessary. This method works very well at SUNY Oswego because many of our on campus dining halls serve brunch on the weekends. This means that food is not served until 10 AM on Saturday and Sunday. In that sense, there is no reason as to why you should not do your homework Friday night, if you wake up early on Saturday you will just get hungry and not have a dining hall to go to.
Disclaimer: there has been 3 rememberable times I have taken naps on campus. The first time was the day of my Resident Assistant interview, that day I woke up at 6:30 AM for my individual interview that began at 8:30 AM. I went to bed that night around 11PM and waking up before my usual 8:30 AM was a struggle. So I took a 30-minute nap between 12:15 to 12:45 PM (because I had group interviews at 1 PM). The other two times were because of the weather changing rather quickly. Weather changing quickly gives me a beating migraine and sleeping makes that go away, but I remember both times I did not feel any better afterwards.
So, although naptime is often a big occasion for college students, it is truly not always necessary.