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The Daily Tar Heel

In a Daze -- Students Lead Tiresome Lives

But I am terrible at time management.

And I am not alone, I'd say the majority of this campus is with me. Just think about it. Overall, what is overwhelmingly the most common response to the endless "How are you doing?" question? That's right.

"I'm tired."

We are not a student body of insomniacs! Our campus housing offers comfortable beds!

It is clear that our sleepless epidemic is the bastard child of poor time management.

We need it as much as we need oxygen. We need it as much as food and water. It is a greater luxury than warmth. We crave it more than companionship or a win against Duke at Duke.

I'm talking about sleep. And we need it badly.

Readers, we are in the golden years of youth! Should we really spend our primes wandering around in a sleep-deprived daze, with Tar Heel-blue circles under our eyes? (That is no way to show school spirit.) We need to be joyously greeting the dawn, not waking up to the alarm with a desperate "Why, God, why?"

The thing is, good time management and a good night's rest are just not cool around here.

How often do you hear, as someone walks across the Pit, "Damn, did you see the time management skills on that girl? Her study habits go ALL the way." And how many girls are desperate for a well-rested man?

People get way more respect for shotgunning a beer than for efficient utilization of a Week by Week. It's sad but true.

The real question is, do we have too much to do, or are we just inefficient?

I have learned that the amount of Post-it Notes written does not reflect one's ability to manage time wisely.

I think we start out with good intentions (what was the road to hell paved with again?) and then get distracted by the game, the party, the philosophical conversation, the self-righteous screamer in the Pit. We can justify it by telling ourselves we're here for the experience rather than simply the education.

We joke, "All this class is getting in the way of my extracurriculars!"

And who, we ask, talks about how much fun they had in college highlighting textbooks?

Then again, nobody ever talks about how great it was to be stressed out and exhausted.

Now this could be another call to action. I could ask that we fight this battle with daily planners and Palm Pilots as our weapons.

Be strong, my fellow academic soldiers! Stifle those yawns, we can win this yet! It's time to take back the night!

But I'm not going to do that.

To tell you the truth, I'm giving up.

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But I'm not bitter.

This is not the first or the last time I pull a late night, and it's time I accepted that. I have managed my time as effectively as many, and, in those early hours of the morning, it is a comfort to know there are so many others toiling by the light of the computer screen.

We'll recognize each other as we stagger through campus in the morning, tripping over bricks, rubbing our tired eyes and clutching some of the caffeine that is the lifeblood of this University.

In a lot of ways, it's worth it. There is just not enough time in the day to fit in all that our college education and experience has to offer us. There is no point in hoping for sleep. It'll just end up a dream deferred.

But I am reminded of the old parable about the farmer who trained his horse to eat less and less. When he finally taught it to survive on nothing, it up and died on him. Is this what will become of us?

I've given up hope for proper sleeping habits. I've embraced my bad time management and inefficient study habits. Am I sowing the seeds of my own destruction? Am I that starving horse?

Hmm. Perhaps I should pull out my Week by Week. Seems I can pencil in some sleep next Monday.

I think it's going to be a long night.

Erin Fornoff is a sophomore from Asheville. Reach her with comments, questions and lullabies at

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