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Hear Me Out: True Rest

Question: Can you write an article about true rest?

Back in kindergarten at Boggess Elementary, we had nap time every single day. Some kids would whisper to their friends until the teacher turned the lights on. Others would start playing around the classroom. I, however, considered nap time the most sacred part of my school day. 

If I did not legitimately fall asleep, I have distinct memories of pretending to sleep once the teacher turned on the lights. The classroom activities would continue around me while I closed my eyes, savoring the tranquility of rest.

Unfortunately, in the first grade nap time was replaced with D.E.A.R (drop everything and read). By the time I got to middle school, D.E.A.R dissolved from my school day along with recess and art class. The older I got, I found less time to rest during school and more assignments to complete afterward.

In the United States, we manufacture busyness into our children. It is no surprise this country is the most overworked developed nation in the world. Society tells us hard work is a virtue, something to strive for. However, we tend to conflate hard work with overworking. This is especially true on Oklahoma Christian University’s campus during the spring semester. The truth is, 8 a.m. classes and Spring Sing do not mix very well.

Sleep is always something I have valued. Without this necessary element in life, I tend to zone out frequently sand stay unfocused on my school work. Unfortunately, during my time in college I have had seasons where sleep is hard to come by.

I am not qualified to write this editorial. Between writing for the Talon, studying for the LSAT, planning events for the Black Student Union, having a social life and completing my school work, I am not well acquainted with rest. 

This week I attended a class where 10 students neglected to show up. Honestly, I did not judge a single one; I have been there before. However, my professor felt the need to encourage us to continue attending our classes. He said through speaking with other professors, he felt Oklahoma Christian was experiencing “an epidemic” in lack of class attendance.

While this statement may be an exaggeration, I would bet most students skipped their classes simply to sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night to properly function.

While eliminating Netflix and procrastination from the equation of my life would inevitably increase the amount of sleep I got each night, I do not believe rest always equals the amount of time we spend asleep.

We can rest by taking time away from schoolwork, social media and other distractions. To replace these activities, I suggest spending at least an hour a day doing something you love. This may look like taking up a hobby you have always wanted to try, watching a good movie or getting coffee with a friend. 

I am not a psychologist, but in my life, I have to take a break from stress every once in a while to experience a sense of true rest. Starting this habit early in life has the potential to become life-changing when we have jobs and bills and kids and marriages to fill our time. 

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