Starting Nov. 2021, a trend that swept young adults and teenagers on social media into a frenzy were the school Instagram accounts. Each account had a theme. They could range from innocent things such as school bad parking to cool outfits. Students would take, submit, and post photos of others in the school that fit whatever the theme may be. The accounts were not officially run by the schools, however they were ran by college and high school attendees. However, a seemingly fun and innocent trend holds deeper meaning than first glances tell.
On Nov. 11, 2021 TikToker @diegooradarte shared the first known “sleeping page” that people in his school had created. Gaining attention quickly, the video was flooded with comments of teens who had similar pages being created for their own schools.
The trend started and continued to be an innocent form of entertainment for students, something to be shared and laugh over in unstable times. However, as I scrolled through the accounts and became aware of just how popular these pages were, I grew concerned and frustrated.
Pictured in the accounts are over-tired, over-exhausted, and over-exerted teenagers. Not adults. Minors, children. These students are so overworked that they’re falling asleep in uncomfortable positions crouching over desks. Finding unoccupied tables to take a power nap. Laying on hard tile floors just because they can’t hold their eyes open any longer or function healthily. These students are so desperate that they are willing to find any place to sleep.
A trend that has spread in schools all over the U.S. Something that wasn’t and still hasn’t caught enough attention from school administrators all over the nation.
The overexertion of students can lead to serious consequences when it comes to physical and mental health. Stress occurs as a cause of not being able to function and caffeine addictions are formed. Now don’t get me wrong I love coffee and Red Bull absolutely gives me wings, but not being able to operate without an artificial caffeine intake is debilitating. I’ve watched others and experienced first hand extreme caffeine withdrawals that no 13-18 year old should.
Schools promote anti-drug use because of risks to health and how addiction is a crutch you could carry for life. However, it seems perfectly normal and acceptable to watch teenagers attend school and work for eight hours a day with one 30 minute break, work another job, do extracurricular activities, plan for their entire future, stay up into all hours of the night to finish extra school work, and hopefully manage a social life. The process is then expected to be repeated roughly 175 times (days).
Students are struggling to find time to give their bodies the rest it needs and are willing to do anything to get the slightest bit. These Instagram accounts show masked cries for help that no one even thinks about. It’s such a regular occurrence that we don’t stop to see what’s really going on. Can’t they see we’re tired?