Photo courtesy of Mia Evans

With the heavy workload and immense stress that the school year brings, many students will find themselves longing for summer.

Most of us have been there. Only a few weeks into the school year and you’re already experiencing summer blues. As you struggle to stay awake in a class that seems to last an eternity, or as you push past the sleep deprived hallway-goers, there’s a good chance you’ll catch yourself yearning for summer break. The famous saying “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone” could not be more pertinent to the three months of freedom students are granted each year.

Easing back into the school year and getting into the swing of things has its challenges. It can be rough for the first few weeks, and adjusting to the rhythm of school is grueling. Getting used to waking up early, homework, studying, extracurricular activities, and more can take a serious toll on students. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15 percent reported sleeping eight and a half hours on school nights.” This is only a small portion of evidence as to how readjusting to school can be hard after summer break. Personally, words cannot express how dearly I miss the feasibility of staying up late on a summer night, just to wake up in the afternoon the next day, cheerful and recharged after receiving an ample amount of sleep.

However, high school doesn’t just affect student’s sleeping schedules. For many students, a bombardment of anxiety and stress are also factors associated with adjusting to the school year. A 2013 survey from the American Psychological Association showed that 27 percent of teenagers experience “extreme stress” during the school year, compared to 13 percent over the summer. This statistic provides further insight as to why many students find a break from school so liberating. Those three golden months of summer fun offer stressed and busy students an escape from the seemingly never ending pressure of work and commitments.

Whether you’re daydreaming about afternoon beach sessions or longing for one last moment of summer bliss, just know you’re not alone, and it’s never too early to start counting down to Summer ’17.