6 o’clock in the morning. The ring of my alarm echoes throughout my room, “gently” waking me up so I can get ready for school. As I get out of bed, I walk towards the window, eager to see the beautiful pink and purple hues of a sunrise, an idyllic image that makes starting the day a little more enjoyable. However, last Monday, I was gravely mistaken. As I drew back the curtains I was greeted by nothing but cold, unforgiving darkness, absolutely no signs of life except the orange glow of light pollution contrasting with the empty void that is the horizon.
What caused this change? Why is it still dark out as we make our way to our first classes of the day? The answer is daylight savings. On Sunday night the clock sprang forward and we all lost an hour of sleep. Aside from the extremely upsetting fact that I lost an hour of precious sleep that I will never get back, now I will not even be able to enjoy the only thing that made me happy before 7 A.M., the sunrise.
“I loved to watch the sunrise on my drive to school. Now that it’s gone I feel empty. Even though it was just a sunrise, it made my day slightly better. It is so much worse having to drive in the dark,” senior Isabella D’Ottone said.
To make matters worse, since it is daylight savings, the Sun now sets an hour later. Normally, this would be great news – everyone loves more sunshine. Unfortunately, this only benefits people who lead lives following a typical 9-to-5 schedule. For those of us who begin our days at 7:15 A.M., and then finish at around 5 or 6 P.M., this additional hour of daylight only aggravates our ever so delicate circadian rhythms. At 6 P.M., one is already exhausted and looks forward to nothing but winding down and going to sleep after finishing homework. Before daylight savings, this feeling perfectly matched with the sunset, so by the time one was ready to sleep it was already dark out; people were truly one with nature. Now, the extra hour of sunlight breeds a false sense of having an extra hour of productivity. The pressure of finishing one’s work before it gets too late is no longer as pressing, and rather than being done at 11 P.M. one is done at 12 A.M., leaving one a meager 6 hours of sleep at best.
“It’s weird having an extra hour of sunlight, but I know I’m going to appreciate it over the summer when we don’t have to go to school anymore,” junior Isabel Jaen said.
In the past years, Florida has been attempting to pass a bill that would allow year-round daylight saving time. Yet, this bill advocates for the extra hour of sunlight, stating that it could “reduce robberies” and “lead to more physical activity.” Call me biased, but I see this as just another instance of the Florida legislature ignoring the ever-so angsty high school student population. Fortunately, matters regarding time zone changes and daylight savings must be approved by the federal government, so this change may not be coming for a while. Although, as a high school student, I am more than happy to offer an alternative that will please both the Florida legislature and high schoolers: allow high school to start later, preferably anytime past 8 A.M.
While I am personally irritated by the time change, it is nothing more than irritation. Life moves on whether it be an hour earlier or an hour later. As of now, I will just have to get used to entering the void on my way to school. But that is fine; there are only eight more months until November.
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