Sleep, or Lack Thereof

Living with College Students

Max loves his college.

My son Max is now happily ensconced in his first apartment, located hard by his Big Ten College campus. He and the rest of the building’s tenants are college students, serious young men and women studying hard every day, intent on obtaining a college degree then going forth to change the world. Yep. That’s who they are. . .until night falls.

This is where our son lives.

My husband Mike and I helped Max move into his apartment over the weekend. After driving for hours, carrying furniture and stuff up flights of stairs for more hours, then unpacking and assembling everything for many more hours, Mike and I were exhausted, and we knew we’d sleep like the proverbial rock. We showered the sweat off and crawled into bed, Mike on his brand-new, bought-for-this-purpose Aero mattress and me into Max’s freshly made bed.

Our heads hit the pillows, and we exhaled.

The night breeze flowed into the room, cooling it off, but with it came. . .music, laughter and conversation.

At 1:30 am we weren’t expecting it, the music, laughter and conversation, I mean. Perhaps we should have, though, since as we were yawning and saying goodnight, Max was still assembling furniture, wide awake, in the living room. At first, I wasn’t too concerned about the sounds since I figured it wouldn’t last for more than an hour. After all, by 2:30 am normal people are fast asleep in their beds, right?

Wrong. And might I add that I’d forgotten that college students aren’t by any stretch “normal” when it comes to their sleep patterns.

The 1:30 am-3:00 am group, although chatty, played music I didn’t know so I drifted in and out of sleep, jolted awake only by really loud bursts of laughter. The 3:00 am-4:30 am group was a bit more problematic since I know the words to many of the songs they played and my brain insisted on singing along.

The deep bass beat permeated my brain.

By the time the fun and noise from the parties dwindled into nothingness, another sound sprung front and center: a steady, deep, repetitive bass beat, almost like those on a keyboard with built-in “bass beats.” Do you know the ones I mean?

Hit the 'beat' button and sound like a band!

The beat kept repeating itself over and over and over. Then it would pause. Then it would begin again. The same notes. Over and Over and Over. When I finally got out of bed at 6:45 am the beat was still playing. . .or else my brain had imprinted it and I was hearing a phantom beat. It was time to finish up and then drive home.

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