Ask The Phoenix

What happens to your body if you sleep only 4 hours one night? And if you don’t sleep at all one night? And if you don’t sleep at all two nights in a row? 

Agatha Ryan, Staff Writer

Dear Phoenix,

What happens to your body if you sleep only 4 hours one night? And if you don’t sleep at all one night? And if you don’t sleep at all two nights in a row? 

–MBHS Insomniac


Dear MBHS Insomniac,

In my experience when I don’t sleep I get cranky, hangry and I yell at my parents.  And I imagine you might just lack enthusiasm about day-to-day activities if you are sleepy all the time. According to The Cleveland Clinic, lack of sleep can lead to changes in appearance such as “premature wrinkling and dark circles.” Hopefully this information is reaching you at the right time, before you develop any wrinkles. If I’m too late, I’m truly sorry. On a more serious note, there are more scary side effects resulting from long-term sleep deprivation, such as heart issues and diabetes. In general, your ability to be alert is impaired when you are running on no sleep. If you are driving a car, say, you could fall asleep at the wheel and crash. And who wants to do that?


Dear Phoenix,

Do you have any advice for students struggling to find the motivation to attend classes and complete work?

–Senioritis Sufferer


Dear Senioritis Sufferer,

Establishing a routine and getting a good night’s sleep can go a long way to improving your motivation.  I think that it’s a good idea to wake up at a certain time every day, and make sure you are sleeping 8-10 hours every night. This will increase your baseline energy level. 

One of the things I like to do when working is to call a friend so we can “work together” but also so that I can’t procrastinate by going on my phone. Instead, I’m occupying myself with a productive form of distraction. There’s the added benefit that I can ask my friend for help if I need. If you are not one to talk to people, you can take a time lapse recording of yourself working. This is very rewarding because afterwards you can waste time watching your past self be productive. 

I also think it is a good idea to go to office hours and ask questions in class. Forcing yourself to participate during class stops you from drifting off and missing important information. Plus, if you put your hand up to answer a question, that means someone who doesn’t know the answer won’t get cold called. Think of it as an act of kindness! 

As a last resort, if you still need help getting your grades up, compliment your teachers. Just drop a little “OMG, your hair looks stunning today, Ms. Wen!” and you’ll be fine. 


Dear Phoenix,

What’s the best way to make/keep friends if you aren’t seeing them in person?
–Remote and Lonely


Dear Remote and Lonely,

Making friends when you’re stuck at home can be challenging. But I think there are ways you can remain social. If you are working on a group project with someone or are frequently put in a breakout room with a certain person during class, be brave! Take the first step and suggest that you Facetime outside of class to work on an assignment or study. This is a nice, low pressure way to get to know someone and it will probably help boost your grade too. If the conversation dulls, you can always bring it back to school.

You could also ask someone in your class if there’s a class group chat. If not, make one! Offer to help people with their homework (but don’t let people use you for the answers) and use the chat to ask questions of your classmates when you are confused. Personally, I find it easier to get close with people when we text and Facetime everyday because I am not constantly worried about the way I look, what I’m wearing or that I might do something awkward (like I do in school).

As for making new friends, making the bold move to text, Snap or DM someone is the first step to striking up a friendship. If you text someone on Instagram and say something like “I think you seem really cool, let’s link!” or bring up that you have a few mutuals in common, they will probably be very honored. If an acquaintance from class told me I was cool I would immediately want to be their friend. (Hint hint, readers.) If whoever you text leaves you on read or responds with something mean, just know that you’re better than them and they don’t even deserve your friendship. Remember that we have all been in the same boat this year. People are actually much more concerned about themselves than with whatever you’re doing, for the most part, so why not just be yourself? Go for it!