The most memorable advice about college that I’ve ever received was given to me when I was still a senior in high school; a friend of mine who had just completed the first semester of his freshman year told me “College consists of three things: school, social life, and sleep. Choose two.” His statement didn’t seem very profound at the time, but now that I’ve experienced life as a college student for almost two years, I can see how true and insightful it really was. As important as sleep is, sometimes it needs to be sacrificed to keep my grades up and still have fun.
There are only one hundred sixty-eight hours in a week. One hundred sixty-eight hours into which I have to cram six classes, seventeen credits, a hundred homework assignments, a thousand friends, and a million fun things that I don’t have time for. It’s difficult to pick what to make priorities and what to let go of, but the choice is necessary. I usually decide to take care of schoolwork first, but there have been plenty of times when someone put on a movie or some people were going to Buffalo Wild Wings and I put off an essay until the next morning. Sometimes this practice got to be stressful, but the laughs and good times made the stress worth my while. Everyone has a different way to manage their time, but my suggestion to everyone is to get schoolwork done as early as possible so that there is less to worry about when something fun is happening. I applied this to my life, and it has worked wonders for my productivity. And I thank God that I found some time to sleep in the midst of all of that, although it wasn’t much.
I’d say that I speak for 99.9% of college students when I say that rest and sleep are very last on our priority list. Why waste a whole eight hours, right? As long as the coffee machine keeps working, then we can run on 3 hours (or no hours) of sleep. Since I came to Nyack, I’ve consumed more coffee than I care to admit. When classes start early and the movie theater stays open late, coffee becomes your best friend. I have also become very closely acquainted with Facebook. Netflix, McDonald’s, and the Palisades saw just as much of my attention as did Simpson, Boon, and Hilltop. This is not to say that classes are not important, but there is no way to endure them and maintain sanity without permeating them with some enjoyment. And although sleep is the first and easiest thing to sacrifice, don’t neglect it entirely; everyone needs a few lazy Saturdays to hit the snooze button and recuperate.
So when it’s all said and done, lose a little sleep, pull a few all-nighters, and spend a couple hours enjoying the company of friends. Finish your essay on Thursday so you can go to see a movie on Friday. Have an extra cup of coffee to make up for it all. The memories are worth it.