Homeroom flip: WHYYY


Justin Tomasko, Staff Writer

Beep beep beep bEEp BEEP BEEP BEEP… it’s 5 a.m.
You groggily get up, stumbling over your own clothes in your cluttered room—the alarm clock taunting you as you make each step away from the most comfortable place on Earth. “MNnNNGGh,” you tell yourself as you drag your heavy body out of the room—the stagnant air making the mood all the more unpleasant. It’s the morning.
We’ve all been there at least once, when time doesn’t matter, you wish you could sleep, and the person driving ahead of you on the way to school apparently thinks that it is in fact a Sunday. No Dunkin’ Donuts. No coffee. TOO. EARLY. Even though the school district set first period back by “only” 15 minutes, it really does make a noticeable, unpleasant difference.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a huge adjustment to have to arrive 15 minutes earlier, but it makes the traffic on the way to the school go at negative “mach chicken.” Students and teachers have to make their way to school far earlier just to beat said traffic. This is because they all have to arrive at once (assuming that no one wants to come in extra early).
“…I get up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning,” an anonymous Neshaminy student said. “Last year, our bus came at 6:30 a.m. on the dot, and now it makes me mad that I have to get up earlier for the bus to show up at 6:15. …[the bus driver] takes a longer route to avoid traffic, and it just messes up the whole groove of the morning.”
I, for one, believe that while waking up earlier isn’t screwing
everything over, but that going to first period before homeroom is cutting into students’ time to do work before school starts and doesn’t provide students with time to realize that they’re even awake.
I’ve seen my own friends receive deplorable grades in their first period classes on major assignments because it is nearly impossible for them to get into the right headspace to do anything besides drink coffee and watch “The Office,” that early in the morning.
Some can’t wake up before 7:30 a.m without being, well, hit.
Opportunities for adequate education for students who struggle to drag themselves out of bed could be crushed by first period’s irksome and
premature ending.
Jess Tomasko, NHS Class of 2020 graduate, comments on the
inconvenience of this shift to homeroom.
“It’s bad. People need time to prepare for the day and not just jump into it. [Students] get less sleep, which affects every part of their life… Not having enough sleep can cause you to not think as efficient and it can give you headaches,” she mentioned. “On mornings that I woke up earlier or later, it would directly affect how I felt…”
According to a study performed by the University of Washington and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, later wake-up times for
students were associated with four and a half percent higher grades.
There has to be a better way to fix the problem here. Yes, kids (especially go-getters who actually like free time) need enough space in their daily schedules to do extracurricular activities and homework after school, but if the school day were to, you know, start later, then students wouldn’t need to wake up as early.
I guess administration figures that if homeroom takes place after first period, all the unnecessary lateness will come to a halt, but sometimes that later start is just what students need.
The first period-homeroom flip, especially while the district was experiencing a bus driver shortage, was an overall bad move. The few-minute-earlier shift of first period isn’t terrible, but having to arrive before 7:15 a.m sucks…too many late students every day, and too many people with depreciating grades.
The school day is over, you’re both mentally and physically exhausted after a few tests and a lack of sleep. Getting on the bus was a hassle…weird. Home: the promised lands…we’re here! You drop off your bag at the door, take a seat, and remove your shoes… Whoopsies! It’s 9:33 a.m…looks like you were a little more than just exhausted…dang homework isn’t even done. You’ll do it tomorrow… Maybe.