NDP scheduling changes jar students, transitioning from online back to normal poses trouble.

As NDP makes its way back into physical school- as much as it can, at least, with hybrid scheduling- students are finding it difficult to make the transition into the early bird, quick campus-traversing lifestyle that NDP demands. Juliette Morgan, a recent sophomore at NDP, states that “I’m still trying to adjust, honestly. It’s rough. I’m used to staying up later since I don’t have to worry about the ride to school taking up time, but it’s doable with a little coffee I think.” Quarantine has very heavily impacted the lives and daily schedules of students; many of them held school off until later in the day, when they were more awake- especially since the lack of driving to school and moving through classes tended to make rushes less and less apparent. Summer vacation only intensified this, such as in Juliette’s statement, “I just kind of went to bed when I had nothing else to do. If I was tired, I slept, or if I was bored I slept… Nobody was doing anything, so I didn’t really feel a need to go to bed earlier.” However, some people did have busier times.

Quarantine allowed for many different ways of entertainment, which eventually led to even more messed up sleep schedules. According to Ryleigh Morgan, a senior at NDP, “I let it get bad again because of jackbox games that went until 4am and endless games of ‘Among Us.’ It absolutely could have been worse, but it wasn’t great.” All of this free time and freedom to arrange our schedules however we’d please eventually led to sleeping habits like Ryleigh’s. However, they were far from hopeless; many teenagers like Ryleigh figured out how to handle the change as best as they could to fix the sudden extreme change. “ I wanted to stay up with the party and play games and hang out online, but I knew I would die halfway through the school day if I did, so I had to practice some self-control and get off discord and into bed,” she informed us. “My main strategy was to skip some hours to make it easier to go to sleep when it was a proper time.” Both students informed us that, most of the time, the issues that held back their sleep schedules had to do with having to find things to do during quarantine– hanging out more with online friends, playing games, ect.– and needing to figure out how to remove themselves, at least partially, from those habits.

Thankfully, however, teachers seem to be understanding and even somewhat empathetic towards the students’ struggles. According to Ian Mulligan, a teacher of the Social Studies department at NDP, “As a teacher [during summer school], I still had to get up and I still had to be ready for school, but I was going to sleep later than I normally was and I was waking up later than I normally was.” Along with this, Ryan Pefley, a teacher of the English department at NDP, stated, “Eventually, when I made the realization we were not [coming back to school], if I was sleeping before two or three a.m., it was good.” Even teachers seemed to have difficulty when it came to the quarantine slowdown; along with this, when both teachers were asked about whether or not they would be adjusting their curriculums at all, they responded with very confident confirmations.

Quarantine has seemed to have a detrimental effect on the school day as a whole, in terms of both hybrid scheduling and workload handling; despite this, NDP seems to be intent on handling it all as gracefully as possible between empathetic teachers and equally tired students.