Researchers stunned by pupil’s ability to get absolutely nothing done
By Caroline Ho, Web Editor
Local student Mary Knight has astounded peers and sleep scientists everywhere by being the first to enter a state of student hibernation.
Knight, a second-year student at Douglas College, reportedly went to sleep on the evening of Friday, February 14, and awoke on the morning of February 24 to discover that she had slept through the entire winter study break.
“I was sitting in bed and had opened a book to start studying, and I must have closed my eyes for a second because the next thing I knew it was Monday morning a week and a half later,” Knight told the Other Press.
Friends and family told reporters they had been a little concerned about not hearing from her for ten days, but that disappearing into her room for long stretches at a time wasn’t unheard of behaviour for Knight.
Knight’s roommate Amy Choi told reporters, “I thought she was just in her room re-watching Friends for the fourteenth time. I considered knocking to make sure she was okay, but she always gets really emotional during the finale of Season 6 when Chandler and Monica get engaged so I didn’t want to interrupt her.”
Hibernation researchers and procrastination enthusiasts have been following Knight’s story closely in hopes of understanding the phenomenon. Anselm Nia, Director of the Yonge Association for Wintertime Nocturnality (YAWN), said the phenomenon of student hibernation has been theorized for decades, but this is the first confirmed case he’s heard of.
“It seems as if the very utterance of the phrase ‘study break’ has a profound effect on the student brain, triggering a set of chemical processes that cause higher-level neurological activity to essentially cease for the duration of the break,” said Nia. “In fact, it’s been scientifically shown that simply being a student and spending enough time within a post-secondary educational institute alters one’s brain chemistry. This is an evolutionary advantage that allows students to pull all-nighters, and allows them to metabolize three energy drinks yet still fall asleep in the middle of a lecture.”
Knight had reportedly celebrated the start of the study break by eating an entire large pizza by herself, which YAWN theorizes had given her body enough calories to maintain itself in a state of suspended animation for over 160 hours.
“It’s probably helped by the combination of pineapple and cheese in the pizza, both foods proven to boost serotonin levels,” Nia said.
YAWN hopes that studying Knight’s case will allow them to better understand the psychological effects of the words “study break” on a student’s ability to get absolutely nothing productive done.
“What I really want to know, though, is how her bladder didn’t explode,” said Nia.
Knight said she isn’t surprised to find she’s the first human to successfully hibernate during this period of no class.
“I always thought my Patronus would be a squirrel, so it totally makes sense,” she said.
Reporters asked if she felt unprepared for heading back to class after missing an entire week supposedly dedicated to studying and catching up on assignments.
“I mean, it’s not like anyone else did anything useful either,” she said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go start storing up energy for Easter weekend.”