It was all a game, a challenge to have a normal day having had very little sleep. And I wasn't even the worst in my acquaintance. I knew people who pulled all-nighters on a regular basis and generally had very little respect for their bodies. God! Why?
Today was Sunday and since I'm home, I did my habitual Sunday night bit of TV watching. 9:00 Sex and the City. 10:00 Queer As Folk. By the time it was all over it was 11, I took a shower, brushed my teeth and wandered over to my computer. There is little that distinguishes tonight from any other Sunday night from senior year. Typically, I'd try to do some schoolwork, talk to my friends. On a good night, I'd be in bed by midnight, on a night that I had a lot of work or a friend that needed to talk, it could be much later. I never had a term at Stuy that class didn't start at 8 am, which meant that 7am was oversleeping for me.
Six hours on average, plus two nights on the weekends that I could sleep later, but only on weekends that I wasn't at a debate tournament. Those meant even less sleep than a school night. God! The amount of sleep-debt that Stuy cost me are unthinkable.
Yet, it couldn't have been that bad. I mean, after all, I did fairly well in school, got my high score on the SATs, got into an Ivy League school. So what's a little sleep?
It's odd. When I was in high school, people were often telling me that I needed to sleep more- my parents, the few of my friends that were on familiar terms with their pillows- and the attitude always angered me. Well, not my parents, because they are my parents, but my friends. I was furious with Joel and Dasha for being self-important assholes. Joel never cared as much as others about grades, but then again, he did well because of his talent and the luck that we all had but didn't know about. Dasha seemed ... I don't even know... cocksure that she didn't need all the stress of not sleeping; and maybe she didn't. But I remember getting a higher grade than Joel from Scotti, certainly not because I was any better than him, and I knew that Mr. Scotti simply rewarded me for the hours that I had clearly put into my blueprints and designs. I would never be as good at math as joel, nor could I rival some of his other talents, but I was happy, because those meaningless little numbers meant, somehow, that I was right and that those nights of caffeine pills were worth it.
Sure, I wished that I could sleep more, but it was an accepted evil and what mattered was not success with as little of it as possible, but as much success as was possible with it.
Then high school ended. I got my score, my average, my big envelope. I'd had enough.
Penn is hard. It's not an inherently difficult school, but the courses I take, combined with who I am make for difficulty for me. I will be the first to admit that better time management, less procrastination and more of pure drive would give me an easier time and better results- but hey, I'm not exception.
Staying up late is not a problem, partially because I no longer wake up at 6 am, partially because I generally get enough sleep. On those occasional nights that I find myself in the library till the wee hours, it never ceases to amaze me to find my floor wide awake when I drag myself back to the dorm.
Sure, sometimes they are studying, but more often than not, these kids revel in not getting enough sleep. I remember sitting in Ryan's room at 5:30 am and he'd be getting started on a 12 page japanese history paper that was due by noon that day. Why???
Why are kids having stay-awake contests with each other?
And am I missing out to have had that phase four years before my peers?
What kind of life do these kids have? Is it that different from mine?
I rest, take naps when I had to stay up late, spend time reading for pleasure and go to bed at quasi-reasonable hours.
Am I turning into that self-important asshole I saw my best friends as in high school?
Or am I just growing up and learning to take care of myself?
Frankly, I no longer care. On the handful of occasions that I needed to pull sick hours at college I'd done it, but I felt like shit. I never noticed in Stuy, but that was probably because I was already under-rested so it wasn't much of a change. But going on next to no sleep having had plenty feels awful.
I never want to do that to myself again.
Which brings into question my going to law school or being a young lawyer, but right now, I'm going to do what I finally learned to do: SLEEP.
Wow, that's an entry full of rambling. I sincerely apologize.