NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

NJIT's Student Newspaper

The Vector

Springing Forward or Falling Back


On Nov. 5, the biannual occurrence of time manipulation, better known as “falling back,” or the end of Daylight Savings Time occurred, allowing us to gain an extra hour of sleep. I know that for many of us, an extra hour of sleep is much needed with the various assignments that seem to pile up as the semester reaches its apex. While many are grateful for this timely gift, there are still some people, like me, who do not understand how this time-adjusting metric is beneficial.  

There seems to be a common misconception as to how Daylight Savings Time originated. The most famous misunderstanding is that it was created to allow for more daylight for farmers to take advantage of in the fields. In theory, this seems logical: as the Earth orbits around the sun, its position changes, allowing for different amounts of sunlight in different seasons.  

However, the true origins of Daylight Savings Time date back to former United States President Woodrow Wilson. According to USA Today, many European countries began implementing daylight savings during World War I in the summertime in an effort to reduce fuel costs. After noticing the effectiveness of this method, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Standard Time Act in 1918, which would become known as “War Time” because of the savings from fuel reduction.  

Daylight Savings Time was ultimately abandoned, however, and only used during times of emergencies. Under a 1966 federal law called the Uniform Time Act, a uniform time was created in which all states would push their clocks forward to observe Daylight Savings Time, with Arizona and Hawaii being the only two states who chose to continue with Standard Time.  

Personally, I am a fan of Standard Time, or “falling back.” I like to be able to wake up at 6 or 7 a.m. in the morning and see daylight outside. Not only does it make it easier for me to get out of bed in the morning, but if I decide to go for a walk, I am able to see my surroundings clearly. Appreciating the sunlight at such an early time in the day makes it easier for me to begin my commute for my 8:30 a.m. classes as well.  

Lastly, days tend to feel much longer, which gives me a greater sense of accomplishment at the many tasks I am able to achieve throughout the day. I feel more relaxed while getting things done, as it seems like there is still plenty of time left in the day.  

When we “spring forward,” or start Daylight Savings Time, not only do we lose sleep, but we also have less sunlight in the morning. This makes it harder for me to get out of bed and begin my morning routine. Waking up at 6 a.m. to get to an 8:30 a.m. class can feel tiresome, as I am leaving my home while it is still dark out.  

It isn’t until I am nearing campus when I start to see a glimmer of sunlight, only to be stuck inside a classroom for the next hour. Additionally, I have also noticed that the days seem faster in comparison, which makes it feel like I am constantly rushing throughout the day to get things done. The constant switching back and forth can also become annoying, especially if your body has become accustomed to sleeping with a certain level of daylight outside.  

While I am a big advocate for “falling back,” I believe that what is more important is picking one time schedule and sticking to it. While Standard Time may be better for us because we can wake up earlier with more sunlight and sleep in the dark, there is a financial argument that could be made for daylight savings. 

As there is more daylight in the afternoon, more people are willing to shop outside, leading to an increase in revenue throughout the country and a reduction in energy costs. Ultimately, until a new law is passed that ceases this biannual time switching, we can enjoy our time until March 2024, when we will re-enter Daylight Savings Time. 

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David Juarez, Staff Writer
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