Radnor’s Unhealthy Breakfast

There’s a lot to learn about someone’s life from what they like to eat after crawling out of bed. Even more so if that someone is in their adolescence. Nutrition and sleep are vital to those in their growing years, mainly teenagers. You can look into the kind of life a person leads from the meal they lead their day with.

Chaoyi Zha is a junior at Radnor High School. Radnor holds great prestige amongst the public school system of Pennsylvania. Chaoyi takes many AP courses, including calculus, physics, computer science, and United States History. He’s an academic superstar. So what does Chaoyi eat to jumpstart his engine for his rigorous, intellectual day? Nothing.

Chaoyi hasn’t eaten breakfast on the weekdays since he was in middle school. He wakes up every morning at 7, leaving his house at 7:20, sleepwalking to school. He arrives at 7:35, in time for the final bell. This routine usually nets him seven hours of sleep, an acceptable number for most high school students in Radnor.

In Chaoyi’s eyes, sleep is priority. His parents don’t approve of him fasting through his mornings, but he doesn’t need to conform because when Chaoyi is awake and preparing in the morning, they’re still soundly asleep, too lazy to enforce their will..

Chaoyi is hungry in the morning. His first meal of the day is a school lunch, roughly four hours after waking up. “If I had more time, I would eat breakfast every morning” he told me. He misses out on the important nutrition of the “most important meal of the day” and knows it. He might not be an athlete, but maintaining physical health is just as important to him as his academics, or so he thinks. Either way, he isn’t proud of the lifestyle.

This is not only his lifestyle, but the lifestyle of his colleagues and acquaintances too. It seems to be a dangerous trend in Radnor to skip on important physical health aspects to maintain your grades. It might be ridiculous to find it cool to have to soldier through weekdays without breakfast, and merely five hours of sleep. It’s a subconscious competition in the making. Who is more miserable from their schoolwork? I personally believe it’s ridiculous to romanticize the toughness of being a high school student. While Chaoyi does not do this, it’s something I’ve observed over the years as a student myself.

My brother loves telling the story about how he took six AP courses his senior year, and every person he talked to said he was stupid, crazy, overworking himself. He is what I believe the stereotypical Radnor student is.

The era of self loathing and bragging of misery needs to end in academic high schools. Who knows how much more you could achieve if you donated an hour of studying to an hour of shuteye. Surely, extra brainpower to comprehend and learn would be more beneficial than simply memorizing information to regurgitate on a test and forget for the rest of your life.

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