Zombified: The Spread of Sleepiness Through Berkley High School

*The following article is satirical

Most people think that zombies are a work of the imagination, but Berkley High School is facing a harsh epidemic that is turning students into something similar: sleepiness. It started with just one student pulling an all-nighter to study. Now, hoards of students stumble down the halls in a daze, simply moving from one class to the next. An increasing number of students wear only flannel pajamas and have a glazed-over look in their eyes. The problem even carries over into the classroom, according to science teacher Mr. Wyatt Wake.
“I sometimes have to call on students two or three times even to get their attention,” Mr. Wake explained frantically. “They poke their head out from under their blanket just to give a mumbled answer that I can’t understand.”
Sleep deprivation has long been an issue plaguing all people, from high school students to working adults, but zombification at these levels has never been seen before at BHS. While it seems like everyone is affected, there are some students who claim to be fighting the epidemic. Each person seems to have their own method to defend themselves from becoming a walking sleeper. Most students I attempted to talk to just looked right through me, practically bumping into me when stumbling past. But three students were willing to share how they have avoided being turned by exhaustion.
First is junior Cathy Nated; she seems extremely awake, almost to a concerning degree. She claims that her secret to staying awake and rejuvenated is coffee: and a lot of it. She starts her day with three cups of black coffee. “It needs to be clear of any extras that could possibly dilute its caffeine content,” she exclaims almost in a rushed tone, her eyes darting quickly across the hall. When asked what else she ate in the morning, she looked confused. “Breakfast? I don’t have time for that. It interrupts my coffee consumption,” she explained. Before I could question her logic, Nated explained which coffee chains had the highest caffeine content for the lowest cost. I had to end her interview prematurely, as the bell had finished obviously blaring three minutes before.
Next is freshman Finn Teness. When approached for the interview, he was doing push-ups in the middle of the cafeteria. When he was questioned, he stopped, only to continue running in place when he responded. “Exercise is what’s saving me. I go on a run every morning to wake up fresh,” he explained, panting in between words. There have been reports of Teness spontaneously doing jumping jacks in the middle of class to keep awake. A yawn escaped his lips at one point, but he seemed to remain aware throughout. He detailed his sleeping habits as sparse. “I play basketball and am on the swim team, so I get home really late. I have no choice but to go to sleep late and get up early,” he noted, now having switched to doing sit-ups. It was hard to understand him at this point, but he mumbled something about naps being “for the weak’.” Clearly, Teness has it all figured out.
Finally, I was contacted by senior Kat Knapp. I was confused at first because when I walked into the library, she was wearing pajamas and had a blanket around her shoulders, the semblance of a blank stare forming on her face. But as soon as she saw me, she seemed to snap out of it, waving me over. “My method to avoid becoming zombified is simple,” she reveals, deadpan. “I sleep.” Knapp has been known for taking naps in almost every class. But it seems like the moment a teacher calls on her, she snaps out of her state and answers the question. “I can learn while I sleep. It’s called osmosis. Look it up,” she insisted. Her claims seem to be substantiated by her high grades, being nearly at the top of her class. When I asked how Knapp sleeps at home, she looked at me dumbfounded. “Why would I sleep at home? That’s when I learn everything,” she noted. At this point, it looked like she was about to nod off, so I decided it was my best bet to leave.
Through all of these conversations, I wondered to myself if the cure to this epidemic is right in front of Berkley High School’s collective faces: why don’t students just go to bed earlier? But when I asked each person about this, all I got were confused stares, as if it was a radical suggestion. So what is there to do? We must figure it out before the epidemic of exhaustion fully takes over. But for now, I hope these tips from fellow students help you stay wide awake and alert.