6:30 – I can’t.
6:35 – I still can’t.
6:40 – Should’ve studied last night.
6:45 – I’m not in the mood for school today.
6:50 – And my bed is just so comfortable.
6:55 – I’ll just study during homeroom.
7:00 – Five more minutes.
7:05 – Please, five more minutes.
7:10 – Shit the test is first period.
7:15 – But why can’t you call me out of class?
7:20 – There’s no way I’m going to get a spot.
7:25 – Today’s gonna suck.
Our daily struggle to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning tells us more than just that we stayed up too late doing homework or studying or watching “How I Met Your Mother” or Facebook stalking a random sophomore or looking at irrelevant Buzzfeed articles. Because although not getting enough sleep might cause us to be tired, it does not lead to the emotional exhaustion or the dread of the day that is the real reason we pull our covers up over our heads to drown out the sounds of alarms going off after the tenth snooze or parents reminding us to, “wake up now, wake up now, you NEED to wake up now, get up NOW.”
Somewhere around the time we first realized that high school actually counts, our lives turned into the To-Do lists that fill our agendas. We began to feel like we just needed to “get through” the day. Or the month. Or the year. Or high school in general. The knowledge that the day ahead is not one filled with real, productive, worthwhile activities but instead is composed of the monotony of yesterday and tomorrow and two days ago and the day after tomorrow and a week from now and a month ago and just about every day until our admissions decision finally arrives is not particularly good motivation for waking up.
Junior and the first semester of senior year have become periods of waiting, of striving towards something better. We see high school as little more than a gateway to college. Little more than a waiting room for the opportunities to figure out what we love and do what we want and discover who we are.
What we don’t realize, however, is that getting out of bed is not going to get any easier once we graduate if our mentality remains the same. Next, it’s college. Eventually, it will be our job. It will be when life turns real. But if this isn’t real life, than what is? We only have so many mornings. We are only freshmen or sophomores or juniors or seniors once. We owe it to ourselves to wake up.