Point vs. Counterpoint


Ah, Daylight Savings Time, that debate of the century. Some hate it, some love it, most are indifferent (you’re wrong, pick a side!).  I’m here to argue why we need DST.

My venerable opponent surely does not realize in his tirade against walking to and home from school in the dark that we are in fact not currently in Daylight Savings Time right now, we’re “back to normal”. If we never had DST, we would still be experiencing sunset at 5pm! Complaining about the end of DST is odd not only for that reason, but also because we get an extra hour of sleep. The sleep-starved student gets one more hour of blessed relief from commitments, why call foul?

I am one of those people who finds it easiest to wake up with the sun on my face (and birds singing in my ear), remind me never to move to Sweden. The end of DST makes waking up without wanting to break something more possible for me. As a matter of fact, since the time change I’ve been waking up consistently before my alarm to the bright light of a new day shining happily through my window. And let’s not forget what we’re really here to represent: the start of DST, or “Spring Forward”. The flip side of waking up with the sun is that in the spring I start waking up way too early because of the bright light shining on my face like the noonday sun at 6am, robbing me of the sleep that I desperately need. With DST and Spring Forward the clock rests to follow a more comfortable light-setting for all.

And even if we always lived on DST, waking up at 7:30 in the pitch-blackness, we live in Canada my friends. Even in Southern Ontario we experience the rules dictated by the Earth’s tilt. The time of sunset is constantly changing and on December 21, the shortest day of the year, the sun is projected to set at 4:49 pm. Living perpetually on DST would only make the time of that sunset an hour later, 5:49pm, are you really going to use that extra hour of sun to do something? It will be freezing outside and you know it.

It’s unfortunate that classes take up so much of our daylight hours, but think about how much more productive you can be when going outside seems like walking into a giant freezer where the lights have broken. Bundled up inside you can do all that work you thought you would do on nicer days when you instead spent evenings outside with friends.

The reason I love Daylight Savings itself, apart from the sleep aspect is because it gives us longer evenings in the summer months. Long evenings after the worst of the day’s heat is over and everyone is relaxing without work waiting for you like a dog at the table is something we have DST to thank for. Where would cottage life be without that extra evening hour to chat with friends, sipping drinks before the sun finally sets in a beautiful pyrotechnical display? I would much rather have that extra hour of sun in the summer when I know I’ll be able to enjoy it because it’ll be a pleasant 15°C outside. In November I tend to aim to spend as little time exposing what little skin is left after I bundle myself up to frostbite and having an extra hour in the evenings would mean absolutely nothing to me. In fact, I spend so much time inside it wouldn’t matter whether the sun set at 4pm or 9pm, I still wouldn’t see it happen.

Hating on DST is hating on short summer nights and waking up feeling like a person rather than a poked bear. The government of Canada made a change years ago that countries around the world who don’t use DST are missing out on. Unless they live near the Equator and experience no change in sun-set times all year. So quit hating, winter is here whether we like it or not. It’s time to bundle up and hunker down indoors where we hibernating bears students want to spend our time anyway.

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