Parents and auntyjis all over the world can now rest, assured that their innocent little bachas aren’t going to be out partying all night. But they also can’t help getting all worked up because every teenager who is now homebound chooses to stay up till the wee hours anyway. Here’s why even if circadian rhythms and meal timetables go for a toss, it’s still okay for us to follow our teen quarantine schedule. The most obvious reason is that we’re all trapped at home, even if lockdown rules are easing up.

This means that chores, back-to-school prep, and fights for laptops or tablets are the new normal, even if we wake up before 1:00 pm. Everybody knows that deep down Mom and Dad don’t really trust Zoom, and so they speak at an unnecessarily high volume during their back-to-back meetings. Hence, my question is- why would we want to be awake for that, when we can be awake at night, when everything’s quiet and nobody will repeatedly ask us how to use Netflix, stop us from hogging all the Lays or scrolling endlessly through stale memes on our phone? Why?

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KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Teens are staying up late, causing a flux in their sleeping and eating schedules.
  • While this may seem like an unhealthy lifestyle, it makes sense for multiple reasons.
  • The goal is to find some sort of balance between what parents and teens want.

If one isn’t the lazy type (which means we probably can’t be friends) staying up late to finish assignments or test prep or to clean one’s room is just so much easier because one won’t have to stress about constantly pausing their music in case Mom was calling out. Thus, the best thing about the teen quarantine schedule is no nagging. For me, the cinching factor is my calls at night with my friends.

Instead of giving everyone an excuse to yell at me during the day for yakking away, I line up my calls at night like a CEO. It is because everyone I know stays up late that we have an informal timetable, based on which we FaceTime, Zoom, or just call each other for hours and catch up. We can flirt, gossip without accidentally snitching about our friends to our parents (avoiding the dreaded Moms’ Whatsapp chat) or watch YouTube and laugh like we do at sleepovers. We can do Zoom parties, or just jam at 3:07 am like nobody but Bathsheba is watching.

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Food is another matter. Gordon Ramsay and Sanjeev Kapoor could never make a plate of chips and dip as well as a nocturnal teen can. It may be a little unhealthy to binge on every snack in sight at all odd hours, but if we stay up, we’re going to be bored deep down somewhere, and we’d like to fill the void created by the absence of our comrades with Kurkure. When we wake up around lunchtime, we’re more than happy to have ghar ka khaana, but one of the few benefits of quarantine is getting to finish all the kurmura without any guilt whatsoever.

With school starting soon though, balance is probably best where the teen quarantine schedule is concerned. Instead of sleeping at 5 am, I sleep at 3:00 am, and wake up by 10 am. That way, waking up for class (before going right back to sleep on your desk) isn’t that difficult form me. We’re all still going to be trapped at home, so we might as well have a little fun with a teen quarantine lifestyle before we go back to classes we can’t skip and recesses we have to time.

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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