Mind over mattress

Few things are as welcoming as that warm embrace. Enfolding the weary in a rare breed of affection, it breathes new life into crippled, book-numbed brains. It wipes away the pain of hours spent pouring over sadistically small font. It dabs at tears collecting in the corners of drowsy eyes---the product of the computer’s frosty light. Such is the nature of that gateway to sweet solace, the angel spiriting college students away from the tough love of Butler.

Sleep. That coy mistress no student seems to see enough of.

We lavish affection towards the activity when we can: milking the days we have to ourselves for all they’re worth. Or rather, we don’t milk those days and instead opt to snore them away---eyes shut and unaware of the passing of time. Daylight hours can waste away under the influence of a blissfully comfortable bed: a happy twelve-hour snooze schedule (or sometimes more) is just one big “Screw you!” to the sun.

It’s tragic how badly we abuse sleep, replacing it with another type of shut-eye entirely.

While our bloodshot eyes struggle to stay open, we lull ourselves into a caffeine coma. The only embrace we seek is that of an attractive 4.0. The only dates we make are with our textbooks and, if we’re lucky, a few Red Bulls. We abandon any sense of self, muting feelings in exchange for thoughts. We live in the moment. We’re always one page short, one problem more, one coffee away from staying awake until the sun comes up. Such is the nature of the college student. Just rinse and repeat.

We run a race against time---not living by our own pace, but fighting to beat life at its own game. More often than not, a high-achieving college student will opt to play the role of Helios: willing the day to begin only when he wants it to. If this means 48 hours of no sleep---the equivalent of a “day”---so be it. It is merely a small adjustment to make to reach success and, with that, happiness.

Behold, the ways we reach.

We reach with fingers tired of typing, with minds tired of over-thinking, with mouths sick of regurgitating facts we barely understand. For every minute spent unhappily toiling away to reach happiness, we lose 60 seconds that we could be happy. Self-absorbed, we certainly go the extra mile to grab life by the horns: The only problem is that when you tackle a powerful creature head on, it has a tendency to run you over.

We need sleep reconciliation. Being at peace with oneself---body and mind---can help any individual on the road to success. After all, success does not yield happiness. On the contrary, happiness yields success. Take this semester to breathe before you work, to look around before you read, and to smile before you go into an exam.

Sleep is not meant to be experienced with open eyes and a closed mind.

Sleep with your eyes shut and your mind open.


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