Should I stay up late to study?

'You Can Sleep When You're Dead', But Shouldn't You Also Sleep Now?

Sleep is so important, guys.

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Everyone has heard the basic "You can sleep when you're dead," quote that is to motivate you to keep pushing through and to do everything that life has to offer. However, being told this is actually detrimental to both physical and mental health.

I came across an article titled 'You Can Sleep When You're Dead' Is Actually Deadly Advice" after discussing this phenomenon in a sociology class of mine. This class is definitely out of my area of expertise seeing as I am a mechanical engineering major. Nevertheless, I try to stay engaged in the class and I actually find it pretty interesting. Recently in class, we were discussing the quote "Rest is not the reward for hard work – it is the prerequisite," which led us into the discussion of "You can sleep when you're dead." There are three main reasons why this advice going around a lot is harmful to one's psychological and physiological well-being.

1. Lack of sleep puts the immune system at a disadvantage

Sleep loss can make it more difficult for your body to fight off illnesses because white blood cells are depleted. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker says that just one night of only four to five hours of sleep can decrease white blood cell count by approximately 70%.

2. Just one hour of lost sleep can kill

According to studies conducted in the spring when clocks are pushed forward an hour, car accident rates spike along with heart attacks spike 25% because sleep deprivation increases stress on the heart.

3. Sleep debt is carcinogenic

Sleep deprivation causes the body to be more prone to contracting colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

Do people who tell us these things realize how bad it actually is to say this? Growing up, I have always heard how adults always know best, to follow the advice of my teachers, etc. But when teachers have the audacity to tell me that I need to "Eat, sleep, and breathe," the subject of their class (this has actually happened to me before) or adults tell me to just push through because I can "Sleep when I'm dead," am I really expected to listen?

So many students in high schools and universities across the world deprive themselves of sleep in order to get their homework done and to study for their tests. However, the issue doesn't just lie in the people saying these things. When it comes to teachers and professors in academia saying these things, the issue becomes much bigger because they are the ones whose job it is to educate and mentor their students. This is an issue within the education system as a whole.

Why do some teachers and professors ignore that fact that we as students are human beings? That we need sleep and rest in order to properly function? And that we are taking more than just their one class?

In order for the education system to change, these issues need to be addressed. All educators need to be aware of the increased stress and pressure students today are facing in comparison to years past. All students need to be aware of their own health and understand their body's limits so that they do not push themselves too hard. As a student, it hurts to hear my educators tell me that I just need to "Suck it up and deal with it," "Get straight A's or you'll be a failure in life," "Eat, sleep, and breathe...," etc. All of these statements put students into a bad mindset, increase their already high-stress levels, and take away their love of learning.

It is rude and downright disrespectful (almost to the point where it can be seen as mental harassment) for educators to say such things to students, especially when school stress is now becoming an issue in some middle schools, not just high school and college. I understand that school is difficult and that there is no way to just make it easy enough for everyone to get straight A's. However, school should not be seen as a toxic environment, teachers shouldn't be placing so much stress on kids by telling them to busy themselves with everything because they will have plenty of time to "Sleep when they're dead." Instead, teachers need to be offering resources to students in order to help them get through the hustle and bustle of school and motivate their students in ways that will actually help them, not hurt them.

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50 Things to Do When You're Bored and Completely Alone

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For people like me, spring break is a time where you come home and have absolutely nothing to do. You're parents work all day and you're either sibling-less or your siblings have already moved out. Most of your friends are on the semester system, so your breaks don't line up. You're bored and completely alone.

Although while being alone sounds boring, sometimes it's nice to just hang out with yourself. There is a plethora of unique and creative things you can do. Netflix marathon? That's overdone. Doing something productive or worthwhile? You do enough of that in school anyway. Whatever the reason is for you being alone, I have assembled a list of unique things to do to cure your boredom.

SEE ALSO: 50 Things To Do Instead of Finishing Your Homework

  1. Have a solo dance party.
  2. Teach yourself how to do an Australian accent (or any accent for that matter).
  3. Learn how to play harmonica (or any instrument for that matter).
  4. Buy an at home workout DVD.
  5. Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
  6. Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
  7. Paint a self-portrait.
  8. Plant some flowers in your backyard.
  9. Become a master at air-guitar.
  10. Perform a concert (just for yourself).
  11. Write a novel.
  12. Become an expert on quantum mechanics.
  13. Give yourself a new hairdo.
  14. Knit a sweater (if you don't know how, learn).
  15. Make a bunch of origami paper cranes and decorate your house with them.
  16. Make homemade popsicles.
  17. Reorganize your entire closet.
  18. Put together a funky new outfit.
  19. Make a short film.
  20. Try to hold a handstand for as long as possible.
  21. Memorize the lyrics to all of your favorite songs.
  22. Create a website.
  23. Go on Club Penguin and troll a bunch of children.
  24. Become your favorite fictional character.
  25. Become your favorite animal.
  26. Practice your autograph for when you become famous.
  27. Create a magical potion.
  28. Learn a few spells.
  29. Learn how to become a Jedi.
  30. Put the TV on mute and overdub it with your own voice.
  31. Make paper hats with old newspapers.
  32. Become a master at jump roping tricks.
  33. Create music playlists based on random things, like colors.
  34. Find a chunk of wood and carve something out of it.
  35. Find something that doesn't have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
  36. Create a full course meal based on whatever's in your kitchen.
  37. Teach your pet a new trick.
  38. Take a bunch of artsy photographs.
  39. Make a scrapbook.
  40. Learn a bunch of new words and incorporate them into your speech.
  41. Try to draw the most perfect circle without using a compass.
  42. Make your own board game.
  43. Memorize some poetry well enough so you can recite it.
  44. Build a fleet of sailboats and float them in your bathtub/pool.
  45. Write a song.
  46. Practice picking locks.
  47. Make a drum kit out of random household items and play it.
  48. Draw a tattoo on yourself.
  49. Give yourself a new piercing.
  50. Figure out the meaning of life.
Cover Image Credit: Josh

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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