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Mental Health

An Honest Account of A Remote, Sleep-Deprived Student

The shrill blare of the alarm, unfortunately, wakes me up. I reluctantly roll out of bed saying a bitter farewell to my growing collection of squishmellows. Before staggering over to my desk, I get dressed in the comforting darkness of my room. Somehow despite it all, my sleep-deprived crusted eyes magically manage to turn on my laptop in time and in an instant I am blinded by the artificial brightness. Ah, this is what college constitutes in the glorious spring of 2021. 

While others may wake with the sun, I am awoken by my professor speaking French at an alarmingly rapid rate that my still-asleep brain can’t even hope to process. As a result of time zones, I am forced to wake up around the pleasant time of five in the morning almost daily. An unfortunate byproduct of these sleep constraints is that it is often difficult for me to feel fully present in my classes, especially my earliest ones. Unsurprisingly, I tend to gravitate towards both of the mic-and-camera-off options for my first courses of the day. It’s common courtesy really, as I’ve literally rolled out of bed a minute or two before. Luckily though, before my other classes of the day, I half-heartedly attempt to make myself look at least semi-presentable despite the onset of my persistent eye bags. 

white pillows and white bedding
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash

Furthermore, in a time where sleep is treasured and rare, it is imperative to maximize one’s time. I am all about time management, so following my bright and early first class, I take naps ranging from ten to forty-five minutes, depending on how much risk I feel like taking. 

However ignoring the blatant negatives, there are some benefits to my new sleep and class schedule. 1) I’m done with classes earlier. 2) I get to see the sunrise? (Sometimes, that is, if I actually look outside). 

While the benefits of waking up early may be few and far between, it is still important nonetheless in these times to look on the bright side of things, if not solely to maintain our barely-there sanity. At least in the early hours, I can finally have some peace and quiet from my family who I am also trapped with. Moreover, the beautiful sunrises and serene moments of silence almost make me forgive my alarm for waking me up every day, but not quite. 

Additionally, when I finish classes before lunch, it leaves the rest of my day wide open for various activities. These activities consist of missing being in the right time zone and on campus, procrastinating, and napping my responsibilities away in the name of self-care. If I had to rate this on a scale of one to ten, in terms of productivity, I would rate it a measly three out of ten, needs definite improvement. 

student studying for school
Photo by Green Chameleon from Unsplash

However, while I may talk about this quite lightheartedly, it has actually been pretty difficult to truly feel like I am attending college with these remote limitations. My days have transformed into a monotonous schedule, stuck in my room and plagued with a constant lack of sleep and motivation. I find it challenging to focus and be productive, especially with the added noise of my family going about their daily lives. How can I possibly hope to be in the school mindset, when I am stuck in my room at home and it’s not even light out yet? I am constantly exhausted, but at least I can look forward to my worryingly high amount of caffeine intake every day. 

Overall, despite being apart from Kenyon and missing it dearly, it has been an interesting time adapting to its remote version, although maybe it’s more aptly defined as challenging. Nonetheless, I am still not a big fan of the time difference though, and I doubt that opinion will change as the semester progresses.

Maya is from Seattle and is a freshman at Kenyon College. She preoccupies her time with making too many carefully curated Spotify playlists, running, and writing.
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