As an institution with no curfew timings and minimal restrictions on our movements on campus, SNU stands out when compared to many premier institutes with unnecessary restrictions. This gives us an advantage to boast how night and day are almost the same when it comes to recreation. It is quite possible that you were someone who goes to bed at 10 PM back home but life here is surely different. We do like it for the independence that we get here as adults: we are free to make our own choices. It’s not just about SNU. Life in college away from home is generally the same across national boundaries. Sleepless nights, coursework and sometimes binge watching are root causes of this problem everywhere.
The fun part when we discuss this issue is that we hate it but at the same time, we love to hate it. This has become as an integral part of student culture everywhere. One of my friends who is pursuing Architecture at a well-reputed institution told us how students are looked down upon for sleeping early by their own peers. Having enough time to sleep is associated with not having enough work. Managing the coursework and simultaneously pursuing something else becomes close to impossible unless we compromise on our sleep.
Recently I came across an interesting film by Georgetown University titled “Sleep when you’re dead” and it caught my attention. As it turns out, the film was about sleep culture on their campus. It has become their unofficial motto on campus, to sacrifice sleep to achieve excellence. Who is to blame here?
What do we do if we are not in bed early? It is not necessary that we are always out when we stay up. How many times have you finished the planned task at night just the way you wanted? There is a natural tendency to give up the motivation and get back to bed. Now we do not face such problems while aimlessly scrolling through our Facebook timeline or Instagram feed until dawn.
Social media plays a fundamental role in almost all our social behaviours including changing our sleeping patterns. According to a study at University of California Irvine, lack of sleep increases our online browsing activities such as scrolling through Facebook. This does affect our productivity levels all through the next day. We have no problem walking into the 9AM class like a zombie where we are struggling to somehow maintain 75% attendance or the professor might compromise on our grade.
Our campus culture defines who we are. A healthy resting culture encourages us to maintain a balance between work and play. Sacrificing sleep looks like the easiest choice when it comes to meeting our daily social obligations. Is it the right choice? Sleep has to be our priority and this is not just limited to these four years. Sleep deprivation has become a necessary evil that we all know is bad and yet consensually give in. This perpetuates unhealthy workaholic behaviour. Our life beyond these four years is going to be tied up with familial responsibilities and probably an intense work-life. It is often believed that we tend to develop professionalism and our work ethics during these years and the choices we make are likely to define our lifestyle in the future. So let us acknowledge this independence and do the best we can.