You snooze, you lose: morning routines set tone for day

By Jen Maxwell
Published: May 2010

During the school year, mornings typically are a boring routine starting with an alarm or a scream from a parent as an exhausted, frustrated teen slowly arising from their dream world, eventually grabbing a cup of coffee and running out the door to the next phase of their day.  Although students like this make up a vast majority of our student body, this routine isn’t the only option.  Different people wake up at different times for various reasons including excessive homework, sports practice before school, or a lousy alarm.

Many students feel that they are unable to fulfill a homework requirement late at night.  Instead, they wake up early in the morning to complete it because they believe that they will do better work after a good night sleep, even if it means waking up at four in the morning.  For junior Danya Ravid, this is a regular occurrence.  Whenever she has a big paper due the following day, she sets her alarm for five because she is too tired to put out her best work at one in the morning.

“When I wake up, all I want to do is go back to sleep, but I fight the exhaustion, get up, and get my work done Ravid said.

Once she finishes her paper and other last minute work, she usually has enough time to complete her typical morning activities as well as time to listen to her “morning song before heading to school.

Other students wake up early because they are involved in early morning activities, such as sports practices.  Hockey and Swim teams, both outside and inside of school, are regularly required to attend practice as early as six in the morning.  Junior and Hockey player Dean Carney wakes up at 4:55am to leave the house at 5:10am.  He quickly picks up a friend and arrives at the rink for practice at 5:30am.  This gives them a half hour to prepare mentally and physically for the hour-long practice.

“Our goalie’s grandfather always brought doughnuts for after practice which was always something to look foreword to, Carney said.

After this morning treat, he goes home, showers, and runs to the car, trying to get to school by 7:20am, giving him, his brother, and his friends plenty of time to get there.

Sophomore Sarah Conklin, a swimmer for Shamut Aquatic Club,  wakes up at 4:40am for swim practice in Framingham where they swim, lift weights, and does other conditioning exercises.

“ I just roll out of bed, walk into the car, eat an apple on the way there and then brush my teeth there, Conklin said.

Morale at the beginning of such an early practice can be low. However, as the practice progresses, the morale increases.

“It’s mellow when we first get to practice because everyone is so tired. It’s usually really quiet until we jump into the pool or start lifting weights. My Coach also helps by putting on music and getting really goofy to get [practice] going, Conklin said.

Although there are benefits to practice, having such an early practice has negative aspects as well. “It’s hard sometimes especially on Friday’s when everyone is so happy to get out of school, and I still have to wake up early the next morning…The swimming is hard but its not that long of a practice and a lot of team bonding goes on because were all doing something that isn’t usually done, Conklin said.

These students are the rare few who are able to wake up and get going without much sleep.  Throughout South, there is a common theme of people having a hard time waking up.  Some students sleep in to the last possible moment, or sleep through their alarm clock’s loud buzzing.

Freshman Sammy Boucher tends to do this.  Whenever she oversleeps, her mom yells to wake her up and get her going to catch the bus.  She gets ready in five minutes, only having time to dress in the first clothing she sees, wash her face, and brush her teeth.  After this quick preparation, Boucher runs to the bus stop as fast as possible.

“I run to the bus and cut through a ton of peoples’ yards and usually get yelled at, Boucher said.

Despite the hurry and stress caused by this situation, she usually makes the bus and her neighbors rarely hold a grudge.

For most South students, the mornings don’t feel like a crucial part of the day because they are half asleep, and follow their typical routine without much thought.  For a rare few, however, the morning sets the tone for the day: whether they’re stressed out from a rushed morning, excited and awake from a practice, or feeling accomplished and ready for school after completeing long overdue assignments.  The mornings for these students define part of their life as a teenager and show who they are as students and athletes.

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