Harvard-Westlake’s (HW) middle school campus sits between some of the busiest freeways and canyon roads in Los Angeles. Without a doubt, getting to school in the morning can be a struggle every single day for students. According to the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles has held its position as the city with the country’s worst traffic for six straight years. Students are having to wake up earlier in the morning to ensure that they arrive to school on time.
“I think my commute actually benefits my academics in a way. Because I arrive home so late, I have to hurry up and do my homework and other activities, too. So, I don’t have anytime to procrastinate or waste time. I also work better under pressure, and since I don’t have a lot of time, the pressure benefits me when doing homework,” Sabrina Liu ’24 said in a survey.
According to a survey sent out to the MS, students are more tired during the day and are unable to focus during their classes. Out of the survey of 175 middle school students, approximately 21.1 percent of survey respondents reported having a commute of 30 to 40 minutes per day; 12 percent of students reported having a daily morning commute to school of over an hour. Riding on the bus to and from school also causes students to have to wake up earlier and get home later; 62.1 percent of students reported taking the bus.
However, each HW student is different. Students may live closer to school or farther from the Beverly Hills area, or they may participate in HW’s athletics programs. Some may be affected by a long commute and some might not even think about their quick morning drive to school. The 66.1 percent of students participating in sports might have to attend practices and games, causing them to get home later on certain days.
“I feel like I am not getting enough sleep due to long commute times, paired with playing a sport and homework,” an anonymous student said in response to the survey.
The effect that these long commutes have on some students may even reach their grades. Students feel unmotivated and tired after driving home after school or sports practice. Once they get home, the homework and studying for tests they have to do causes them more stress and makes them stay up even later.
“I think that the buses should leave a bit earlier depending where they are picking students up from and find better routes if they can. It is unfair because I know a few students who get to school late in the morning because the bus is late. It is not fair to those students that they need to arrive late and be tardy because of their bus,” Emma Lillard ’24 said.