Every Tuesday through Friday at 8:10 AM, every Langley student cracks open their laptop, logs in to Schoology, opens Blackboard Collaborate, and starts a long day of online learning. But what happens before that? Since the implementation of distance learning, a lot of things have changed about school routines. There is no more bus to catch, or long morning commute through the dreaded Georgetown Pike traffic, no more meetings with clubs or teachers before the start of the day. This gives students a lot more freedom to spend their mornings how they want, whether they choose to take advantage of the extra time to be active or study before school, or even just catch up on sleep.
“Having a productive morning sets you up for a productive day. I think that if you start your day off by pairing a little bit of movement with a healthy breakfast, it sets you up for a successful day,” senior Lilly Hussein said. Lilly is one of the students who has chosen to make the most of her mornings by getting up early. Adding this extra time before school allows her to get some self care in, and have more time to focus on homework in the afternoons. She goes on a walk and does yoga when she first wakes up, and then makes herself a filling and nutritious breakfast before she starts her school day. She even carves out a little relaxation time to watch Netflix before school starts, to get a little bit of something fun and calm in before class.
Other students have a bit of a different interpretation of what should be done with their mornings. Many choose to sleep up until a few minutes before school begins, some not even getting out of bed before starting class. Junior Sophie Steiner is a Saxon who enjoys the extra snooze. She wakes up around 8:00 AM, and her morning routine is quick and simple, consisting of just washing her face and brushing her teeth.
“It would probably be better for me to get up earlier and eat breakfast first, but I would rather have the extra sleep.” Steiner said. Many students choose this route, many lugging their computers down to the kitchen mid lesson to make themselves breakfast, or simply rolling over in bed to start their school day.
There are definitely benefits to both lifestyles. While Lilly has more time to practice healthy habits for both her mind and body, and get in the zone before class, Sophie definitely gets more sleep than her. Another question is: will these students carry their routines over if Langley returns to in person classes? For Sophie, she would probably have to just push her routine back an hour, and instead of starting online class, her next step would be getting in the car and driving to school. For Lilly, things are a bit different.
“I will try to include some of these things into my routine if we go back to school, but I don’t think I could justify waking up as early as I would need to in order to include everything into my routine. I would definitely keep the yoga and healthy breakfast, but I don’t love walking in the dark, so I might have to save my walks for the weekends!” Hussein said. Students like Lilly, who have really found a morning groove, are the ones that may be most affected by a return to in person learning. However, that return is nowhere near set in stone, so she has plenty of morning walks in her future.
While obviously it is up to each individual student to spend their morning how they please, Saxons may want to try to be mindful of how they can maximize productivity and self care before the start of the school day. Online school is a brand new experience for almost everyone, and experimenting with ways to make it more fun and productive might just be one of the silver linings on this cloud that is COVID-19.