STAFF EDITORIAL: Life gets in the way—or is that sleep?

Blood, sweat and tears: all for the perfect transcript. In or- der to get into college, we’ve been told that we need to have everything. A well-rounded variety of good grades, unique extracurriculars, stellar test scores and a blemish-free record seem to be the only way to be ac- cepted at a prestigious university; anything less than this flawless performance is unacceptable if you want any chance of achiev- ing the goals you have spent your

whole life working toward. Unfortunately for students, sleep is needed to survive. If it was that easy to stay up all night, every night, then every college would be overflowing with applications with little to no distinction between them. Instead, teenagers are given the impossible task of doing every- thing and trying to fit some fun

in between. Adults constantly add in their two cents, making comments about still “living your life.” Something has to give, and more often than not, that sacrifice is sleep, which hurts students’ mental health.

Whether fighting sleep de- privation or an overwhelming to-do list, no one benefits from the misconception that the only way to succeed is to have every- thing. It is ultimately impossible to have it all. In the 24 hours in the day, seven are spent at school, at least three are reserved for extracurricular activities, three hours for work for some, an hour is required to eat, 10 hours are recommended for sleep (which hasn’t happened to any high school student we know) and no time is left to breathe. That adds up to 24 hours, and doesn’t even factor in time for homework. On top of that, up to seven academic classes, each assigning one hour of homework, can result in as

much as seven hours of work per night, in addition to the seven hours spent at school already.

These unreasonable demands on students whose brains are still developing are detrimental to their physical and mental health, and there is still no guarantee that everything will even work out the way they want. It is becoming in- creasingly apparent that wearing yourself down is not necessary to achieve these goals. Colleges ap- preciate well-rounded students, but they focus more on whether or not your extracurriculars fit within the picture you paint of yourself.

People can succeed without hurting themselves, and students graduate high school and college without irreparably damaging their mental health. But teachers don’t take the other factors into consideration when they assign work, and not everyone under- stands that it’s OK to be impres- sive without being “perfect.”