We Are Losing Daylight In More Ways Then One
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Politics and Activism

We Are Losing Daylight In More Ways Then One

Mid-Semester motivator as brought to you by Daylight Saving Time.

We Are Losing Daylight In More Ways Then One

There’s a nip in the air; a rustle of wind through the tree leaves. I have to squeeze into jeans and don cardigans, sweaters and hoodies. My weather app may read 52 degrees, yet, the Florida sun keeps shining.

Fall is here, one might be inclined to cheer! However, according to that technical friend among us, the season doesn’t begin until the first Sunday of November. That’s right, Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend!

Clearly, this denouement of summertime is noteworthy, but smart technology has enabled us to slide into the new season automatically. In the dead of night, our smart phones move the clocks back an hour. As long as you’ve selected the correct time zone in your settings, than you will greet Sunday morning perfectly on time.

Usually with matters pertaining to math or science I leave the ‘why’ question to the person in a lab coat (or a STEM major), but I’ve decided- quite uncharacteristically- to seek understanding.

Why was Daylight Saving Time instituted? According to Christopher Klein’s article, an Englishman named William Willett published a brochure called “The Waste of Daylight” in 1907. Unfortunately, in spite of his personal, fiscal investment in the idea, his campaign did not come to fruition during his lifetime.

In fact, Germany, starting on April 30th of 1916, was the first to implement Willett’s ideas; officially, they adopted the idea for "energy conservation" throughout World War I (Klein). Britain would later follow suit (never to be out-done by their opponents).

Even when the United States jumped on the proverbial bandwagon they repealed the national Daylight Saving a mere “three weeks after the wars end” (Klein). The result was aptly described by Time Magazine (pun intended) “a chaos of clocks” since various states and regions of America began Daylight Savings haphazardly (Klein). No standardization was agreed upon until 1966’s “Uniform Time Act”, but even with the aforementioned act states could still opt to stay on standard time year-round (Klein).

Alright, Lauren, you’ve lost me with all this history. What a snooze-fest! (That pun was also intended). How does any of this correlate to my life other than my iPhone switching my clock without my notice or forethought?

Well, dear reader, thank you for asking.

Benjamin Franklin, the lovable founding father himself, “espoused the virtues of ‘early to bed and early to rise'” (Klein). After spending a considerable amount of time as an American envoy to Paris, Franklin proposed a change in the Parisian sleep schedule in order to better use the daylight hours.

I’d contend that the University of Florida is Franklin’s eighteenth-century Paris.

Students either study, Netflix or frolic around all hours of the night. Maybe a percentage still wakes up for their 8:30 class, but I’d wager that number dwindles as the semester wanes.

Especially given such chilly weather, the blanket’s warmth, a hot cup of Joe and a streaming service are much more inviting than the frosty outdoors.

During the fall and winter months, we are in danger of becoming complacent, unmotivated hermits. Snug in our rooms, we watch the hours tick by.

Preaching to myself, as much as to the unsuspecting girl sharing my table at the library, I say let’s enjoy the festivities this crisp, new season brings...but in all the merry-making, let’s not forget to kick our butts out of bed.

Here's the mid-semester pep-talk:

Let's rise with the sun! We are losing daylight! (Both literally and figuratively.)

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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