During my junior and senior years of high school, a typical day began around 4:45am. I'd wake up in the middle of night several mornings a week, drive to school, swim for an hour and a half, go to classes from 7:35am until 2:37pm, jump back into the pool for practice from 3-5pm, do 45 minutes of dryland or weights, and then go home. Then I'd do homework until I couldn't do any more, go to sleep, and repeat it all the next day. Rarely during the school day would I step outside the doors of Hampton High School. The thought of a nap or even grabbing a needed sip of water at a fountain was unthinkable. This was my schedule. I wasn't going to let anything get in my way - of graduating, getting a college scholarship, and winning the 100 butterfly at the PIAA swim meet. (NOTE: I never won the 100 fly at states...I was second two years in a role; lost to two different girls; lost each race by less than a tenth of a second.)
Yesterday I headed back to school (my second semester of my first year as a PhD student) - this time as a 30 year old wife, who exercises maybe an hour a day. I had three classes yesterday: an hour of observational epidemiology, an hour of statistical programming, and three hours of my research practicum class. After class I went to the gym and did 50 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of strength training. And I was whipped. Honestly, I got on the train to go home and couldn't keep my eyes open. I slept from Baltimore all the way to DC. I got home and didn't have the strength or willpower to open my backpack. The idea of doing homework was completely out of the question. I made myself some dinner, read a little bit of news online, picked David up at work, and then fell asleep on the couch before 10:30pm.
My question is: how did I keep my high school schedule? Was I able to do it because I was 16? Was it because I didn't know the beauty/luxury of a good nap? Was all the swimming providing me with more energy? Was it a combination of these things? Or something else entirely? Or is grad school just more draining than high school? Am I using more brain power?
All I know is I'm glad I don't have a high schooler's schedule any more. I can barely keep up with my 17 hours of class each week (15 credits) and an simple hour a day at the gym. I'm also grateful for the fact that I can nap on the train on my way to/from school.
What about you? As an adult are you keeping a schedule similar to high school? Or do you have more freedom during the day? Are you more or less tired now compared to when you were in high school?