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St. Olaf Sentiments: October 24, 2014

Oles are involved; it’s an understatement, I know. Professors often joke about busy we are, yet still give us hours of homework. Group projects almost never get accomplished because you can’t find a solid hour that all three group members have free.

“Ooooh, sorry. I have choir, then intramural basket weaving, then I have to go home and study for my music, psych, chemistry and studio art quadruple major. Oh, and I’m pre-med,” you might often hear classmates say. With these busy schedules, it isn’t surprising that when we do get a moment to breathe, we usually spend it talking with friends, playing endless hours of League of Legends or just reading a nice book. We Oles also know how to take time for ourselves.

So you may ask yourself a question in midst of this whirlwind of activity: when will I have time to sleep? The answer is – and should be – never.

If you are awake and alert all week long, you’re doing St. Olaf wrong. If you’re able to form coherent sentences in the morning and actually taste your breakfast assuming you even have time for it, then get less sleep. There is so much to offer here that taking any more than the necessary 5.23 hours of sleep is just cheating yourself. You’re not paying thousands of dollars a year to be fully awake for your 8 a.m.

We can’t help it. If we’re not staying up until 3 a.m. to finish an essay that we’ve been forced by our own negligence into procrastinating for, then we feel that we have been blessed with a few precious hours to make our own. Long conversations with my friends about literally anything and everything have resulted in my most sleepless nights. Take advantage of this. St. Olaf is filled with amazing people who want to talk to you well into the witching hour 3 a.m. – 4 a.m.. On that note, don’t stay up long enough to truly experience the witching hour; it is terrifying.

Staying up past your bedtime should be a habit. Better yet, don’t even have a bedtime! Nothing at 8 a.m. is more important than something you can be doing at midnight. There is a unique camaraderie you will feel when you walk into an early morning class, look around and see rows of tired faces. You’re all in this together. Hell, even the professor is probably tired after engaging in raucous, professorial conversation at The Contented Cow. Revel in it; this opportunity won’t last long.

Now, you may say, won’t my grades suffer because I’m so tired all the time? No, and here’s how to avoid the sleepless slump: naps. If you haven’t noticed, people nap all over the place – the library, Fireside, the Caf – it doesn’t matter. Just close your eyes for about 20 minutes every few hours, and you’re good to go. However – and this is important – don’t sleep in class. You’re better than that, I know you are. It’s too easy to sleep in class. If you really need to rest in class, be the first one to participate, make an informed comment and then go on autopilot for the rest of the hour.

You also may be one of those people who claim they can’t function without a full eight hours of sleep. This just means you’ve never tried anything less. Sleep is just a social construct like deodorant or believing Smash Mouth was ever cool. Also, here’s a novel idea: coffee. Granted, the cups in the Caf these days don’t allow for a lot of caffeine ingestion thanks to all you selfish poops who stole all the good cups, but a few trips back up to big pots of coffee will not only allow for more caffeine, but will also get your legs pumping, which will make you slightly less tired for about five minutes!

Here are some other tips to stay awake during the day. Pee your pants; the fear of being ridiculed will pump your body with adrenaline. Moon Pub Safe; they will chase you, and the subsequent run will perk you right up! Scream alarm noises in the middle of the cage; people will eventually punch you in the face to get you to stop and this will undoubtedly wake you up.

All kidding aside, St. Olaf offers so many wonderful opportunities that you’re missing out on if you go to bed early. Being tired is part of being an Ole. You have four years. Four fleeting years to get as much out of this place as you can – so go for it. Your 8 a.m. may look a little bleaker, and your research paper may take twice as long to finish, but at least you’re making the most of your time. Be tired. It’s who we are.

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