Throughout our cumulative years at Marlborough School, all of us students search for the unattainable balance between school work, sleep and social activity. It is impossible to maintain all three.We at the UltraViolet believe that a Marlborough student can fully excel at two of the choices, like school work and sleep or school work and social activity. We believe that school work clearly cannot be ignored, but we must keep in mind what falls to the wayside when trying to study for three tests at once.
The idea of attaining a harmonious balance of the three main aspects of a Marlborough student’s life is just that: an idea. We have found that balance quickly turns to sacrifice in the name of work and grades. Sacrifice is healthy and morally grounding. It teaches us that we cannot always get exactly what we want, that we must work to make things better for our families or peers and that it can all pay off when getting a good grade or an acceptance letter. After all, all Marlborough girls feel immensely proud after doing well on an essay or final exam, especially after staying up late to finish it or study. But soon, the healthy compromise-like attitude of sacrificing a good night’s sleep or a friend’s birthday party every now and then for a test or an essay goes awry.
Girls do not go to sleep until 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, which quickly becomes an acceptable norm for juniors to talk about in the Collins Room as the school year progresses. Seniors, juniors and even sophomores are considered “lucky” if they get to bed at midnight and are completely understood and sympathized with after pulling an all-nighter. The zombie jokes no longer faze students when third quarter comes around. We at the UV want to promote a saner idea of maintaining balance rather than continuously sacrificing a more enjoyable, healthier lifestyle. We understand strict deadlines and final due dates and chapter tests, but at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, we would like students and teachers alike to understand that betraying our mental and physical health for high school grades is not okay.
We believe that the School should be taking important steps towards helping girls hold and maintain a healthy and rigorous balance, especially the more impressionable students in middle school. We believe that being expected to keep a high standard of stability at a younger age would be invaluable once entering higher levels of education.
This “perfect balance” is different for each student, depending on scheduling, extracurricular activities, course selection and the like. How a student chooses to balance her life, whether it is exercising or studying at a library, is up to her, but the central idea of holding the different pillars of her life at an equal level is the healthiest decision she could make. We believe that no one thing should take up 50% of a girl’s life; a distribution of studying, exercising, sleeping well, going out with friends and keeping up with other activities should be equally proportioned and distributed so the School doesn’t have half-asleep, exhausted girls who finished their essays at 3:46 a.m. wandering around the halls. We on the staff believe that the School should begin to champion health over work and balance over sacrifice, because health is more important than school work.
Once Marlborough begins accepting that sometimes a student needs to skip studying and go to bed early during a tough week, all students will also realize that the world won’t end if the bedtime is 9:00 p.m. instead of 2:30 a.m.