Student athletes struggle to catch a break after school due to the late start times


Illustration/Lichen Fischer

With the new 8:30 a.m. start time in place, GBHS student athletes are struggling to catch a breath after school.

California legislators passed a law requiring public high schools to start their bell schedules at 8:30 a.m. 

The driving reason for this mandate is that research done by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that 7 out of 10 students are falling short of the sleep recommendation, which is 8 to 10 hours of sleep per school night. 

While some are excited for that extra hour of sleep, GBHS student athletes are struggling to catch a breath after the school hours. 

“I do not like it…I’m missing class time, and everything gets pushed back to later… my practice times are really late now,” Juliette Lang, a sophomore, said. 

Additionally, many students have to leave during 4th period just to play in a match or game, causing them to miss crucial educational information that could affect their performance in a class.

In previous years, cheerleaders would have to go straight to away games after school. 

“(Now) if they’re away, we have to get out of fourth and miss more class to get to those games on time,” Lang said. 

Students leaving school early  to get to their game doesn’t give them an opportunity to get a bite, to eat, rest or even just take a breath. This causes students to be tired with less energy at their practices. 

“In terms of tennis…before I could go home and get changed and eat something ….now I have to go straight there,” senior tennis player Alisha Bansal said.

Most athletes have less time for their social life but they also have less time to get homework done for classes. 

“Now I … do my homework in the morning so I wake up earlier…and I can go to bed earlier,” Bansal said.

Varsity football head coach Joseph Cattolico touches bases on this as well. 

“There’s just less time on the back end of the day for student athletes to do homework…and other stuff,” Cattolico said. 

 Football practices during the hottest time of day, 2:30-4:30 p.m., where normally they would be able to end practice before it got too hot. 

According to the Time and Date weather app, the average temperature from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. has been 98 Fahrenheit. 

Students were excited to get that extra one hour of sleep but didn’t realize that their night would be so compressed and short.

Many students are finding themselves hating the new long day at school.

Junior dancer Emily Turner has had to watch her teammates struggle with the balance of  club sports and high school sports. 

A lot of athletes that play both club and high school sports have to go to two different practices after school. 

“A lot of girls can’t even stay for practice…they leave early…for like  studio dance where they are stricter,” Turner said. 

Is the time changes in high school really a good thing for our students?

There are a lot of people that have negative things to say about the new law and how it contradicts itself. The law is supposed to give students more hours of sleep while it’s really just taking sleep away in the evening.