The Student News Site of University of Detroit Jesuit High School

Caught In 4k: How The “Sleepy Students” Page Has Changed the Culture at U of D

February 24, 2022

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– The Sleepy Students Instagram page. Who runs it is a mystery.

I get it. That lecture in math was beyond boring, and you nearly had to pinch yourself to try and stay awake. You trudge out of the room and realize you have a free period, so you make a beeline for the corner chair in the closest student lounge. As you fall back into the chair (which may or may not have grease on it from the last kid eating french fries), you’re ready to hibernate for the next 45 minutes of the period. I get it, I really do. But know this– that innocent kid sitting next to you just watching Netflix? At any moment he could snap a photo of you snoozing, and you’d never even realize it happened. Next thing you know, you’re on “UDJ Sleepy Students” for everyone to see. 

“UDJ Sleepy Students” is an Instagram page dedicated to showcasing students who have fallen asleep during their long day at the High. While writing this article, the public account has 464 followers and 99 posts of unfortunate Cubs catching a few Z’s. It was started by an anonymous user in November of last year, and has gained popularity amongst both students and faculty for its humorous nature. Followers are encouraged to take a picture of their peers if they notice them dozing off, and submit them through DMs (direct messages) on Instagram.

Sleepy Students is not the first of its kind; it is merely one in a number of school-specific Instagram pages dedicated to posting their ‘sleepy students.’ These school-specific pages have been somewhat of a trend recently across the country. And sleep isn’t the only activity being captured by these anonymous accounts; others include @udjbadparking, @udjbadposture, and @udj_loudheadphones. (None of these accounts are officially affiliated with the school, by the way.)

This account is having quite the effect on the school, and you can tell (and see) that sleeping at school has been treated very differently since the account’s inception. Most followers of Sleepy Students find it humorous to see themselves in a pretty uncomfortable position, like snoozing at a desk. Senior Jake Ervin ’22 describes his experience of being posted: “Finding myself on Sleepy Students was pretty surprising to me, and I can’t even think of how they got me! But I’ll admit it was pretty funny. However, others find it distressing, and worry it will get them into trouble with their parents and the school. Many students are falling asleep less than they have in the past in an attempt to “not get caught lacking” as senior Elliott Piaskecki ‘22 puts it. Sophomore Charlie Christensen ‘24 warily had this to say: “If I’m going to sleep in class and get away with it, having people take pictures of me isn’t going to help my case if a teacher tries to JUG me for it.” This is a question many of the students are asking: how are the teachers reacting to all this? English teacher Mr. Daniel Babcock voiced his opinion on the page and how it has affected classroom learning: “I actually think it’s a positive, because students are calling each other out for negative behavior”. Another concern, probably more on Mr. Chandler’s end, is how people are capturing these images. Phones are prohibited during school hours, so each time someone pulls out their phone to snap a pic, they are technically breaking school policy. Granted, students have their phones out on a daily basis anyways– someone should start a “UDJ Phones Out Page.” 

Overall, students at U of D have absolutely changed their attitude towards sleeping in school, and it remains to be seen whether this will be just another trend, or have a lasting change on UDJ’s culture. Regardless of either, the Sleepy Students page has been a shining light amongst the darkness of winter, COVID, and every other horrible thing that’s happened in the past four months. Through laughter and humor, it’s bringing the Cub community together.

You can check out our sleeping cubs on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/udjsleepystudents/?hl=en. 

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