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make or break


Misheel Batkhuu
Nov. 4, 2021, 11:44 p.m.

Six weeks ago we began. Six weeks after, we have crossed the finish line. Undoubtedly, this school year has thrown at us more than a handful of hurdles in itself, so it takes inspiring strength and courage to try to voluntarily (well, you don't even get volunteer hours here) take on a challenge for our health. Our first Make or Break complete, let's hear the thoughts of those who strived to make being in bed by 11 a habit:

Do you feel as if being in bed by 11 is a steady habit?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I do feel that being in bed by 11 is now a steady habit because I feel that my body has just gotten used to getting sleep around the time.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “As of now I have learned that I am truly capable of maintaining a steady habit such as this one if time permitted, and have gained a bit more confidence and trust in myself as a result. However, it is still relatively new in the year with opportunities still piling on, and unfortunately I don't believe this would be sustainable for me on top of my own commitments.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Maybe not being in bed by 11 specifically, but definitely trying to prioritizing my sleep schedule. I don't think I will ever take timely bedtime as indispensable ever again, especially now that I see how productive, refreshed (un-groggy), and good I feel when I wake up earlier instead.”

Do you intend on continuing to sleep by 11? If so, how strictly will you follow your routines? If not, will you return to your prior routine or come back with some modifications inspired by this challenge?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I hope to continue sleeping by 11 because I think it's a great habit to maintain, although I may not stick to it as strictly as I have been doing. I'll generally stick to my current routines because they're pretty efficient and saves me time.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I think I will only continue to sleep by 11 (or earlier) on days where work is light, though I also don't believe I will fully revert back to my old routine. Previously, I would stay up late and procrastinate until I find the right motivation to finish my work, though now from this challenge, I know sleeping early and waking up early is more efficient for me to get work done. Also with this modified sleep schedule, my eating times have changed and actually work better with my schedule!”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm going to adjust to 11-11:30 as a limit instead, since 11 is a bit too squishy considering factors other than my personal life, like what works better for my "colleagues" and family. I will allow exceptions such as the once-in-a-long-while family nights.”

Do you think this challenge was worth taking?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): “I think this challenge was really worth taking! As a result of this challenge I was able to create routines that work for me and are efficient, I was able to get adequate sleep, and I feel more energetic in the mornings."

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge was absolutely worth taking, I'm glad I joined! I learned a lot about myself and this was definitely the right push I needed to make these changes."

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Oh yes (and I hope, fingers crossed, worth spreading too). I'm scared to imagine what my school year would be by now if I didn't have one thing, and this at that, set in place.”

What was the most fulfilling part/lesson-learned/memory you have of taking this challenge?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "The most fulfilling part of taking this challenge was the fact that I was able to complete it. Sticking to this six week challenge, I'm just incredibly proud of myself for pushing forward and overall makes me feel great about myself as I have accomplished something I put my mind to.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge allowed me to feel like I had some sort of control over my life, rather than feeling dragged along as I had always felt before this. My favourite memory was that time I had a thought in the middle of class where I realized I hadn't slept during any of my lessons in two weeks! Sleeping in class has always made me feel mad at myself, though I know I can't control it most of the time, so actually having an immediate improvement made me feel a lot better.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Going from dragging my sister into bed to having her drag me into bed on time. Progress at its finest:)”

What was the most dreadful part/lesson-learned/memory you have of taking this challenge?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "There wasn't anything incredibly dreadful that took place during this challenge, however, I do remember the many times I have felt the dread of not being able to get in bed on time. During those times, specifically near the beginning of the challenge, I found myself still up doing work at 10:45 pm and only left with 15 minutes to get ready and get into bed, barely getting in on time. Through those close encounters, I really learned the value of having a good routine.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “The most dreadful part for me was really those nights filled with insomnia in week 1 and weeks 4/5. In the first week it was a result of the drastic change coming on all of a sudden, though in weeks 4 & 5, it was more insomnia as a result of my mind racing over all the tasks I had to complete.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Suffering an extra hour of no sleep in the morning for wasting an hour on Discord the night before. This should happen regardless of when I sleep, but with a schedule, the consequences are clearer and more dreadful.”

How realistic do you think a 6 week time window is to settle a habit like this?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I think a 6 week time window is just the right amount of time to settle a habit like this. Additionally, 6 weeks is not too little where you may not feel any impacts of the challenge and is not too long where you may no longer feel any additional benefits. It really is that perfect in between.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “It honestly depends on how a person adapts to change overall, and I find it personally realistic. This is because I was already planning on making changes during the least busy time in my school year. A habit as significant as this also has an impact on other habits, and if a person were to attempt this challenge with additional habits to fix, I believe it would be too much to handle in only 6 weeks.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Surprisingly realistic. More than the habit, the mentality and the value of the habit have sunk into me. ”

How do you feel knowing that where there was once 6-7 participants, there are now only 3 and you are one of those three?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "Knowing that I was one of the three remaining participants makes me feel proud of not only myself but also the others who have kept up and persevered through the challenge. ”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “I'm just glad a few participants stuck around until the end because I want more people outside this challenge to know it is possible to improve their health as well. I also understand the others who couldn't continue had work to do, I just hope they catch up on sleep eventually :)”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I'm pretty proud of us three. Especially the other two. (they had no obligation). And I'm appreciative of everyone who tried too.”

Have you witnessed or undergone any major or minor changes in yourself, your life, or your environment over the course of this challenge?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "There hasn't been any major changes in my life but I do feel that there have been some minor ones. Over the course of this challenge, I feel that I've gained more energy throughout my day and I feel generally happier. I think that it has also made me a bit more organized and has given me more structure through the day. As for negative changes, the quality of my sleep is not always the best due to anxiety around school, but this does happen ever time school starts up again from the summer break. I must say however, that the be positive changes I've undergone over the course of this challenge far outweighs the negative changes.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “My work environment at home has actually gotten a bit tidier, as I had gotten advice from a friend in the middle of the challenge that really helped me. The "might as well" mindset (as they called it) helped me maximize my productivity and organization when dealing with limited time. I've become more focused on my tasks, as well as better at prioritizing and balancing what I want to do vs what I have to do. I remember back in grade 9, I was unsettled by having a routine and felt restricted, though after the wild grade 10/pandemic year, settling back into a routine has given me much less stress and I feel more appreciate of it.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Inside me: I no longer complain about lack of sleep, and I'm motivated and productive. Outside me: My parents (especially my mom) used to worry so much about me sleeping "late" and deteriorating my health. Now, they're just so happy and pleased with my routines and this support, and knowing I'm not burdening them so much anymore, makes me feel happier too.”

How are other commitments, habits, and practices going on for you right now in relation (or not) to this challenge?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "Commitments and habits have been going pretty well and this challenge has aided with that. The creation of routines, a result of this challenge, has helped me keep up with commitments I have as well as helping me keep up with habits as they ensure that I do what needs to be done.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “Uhhhh I actually had gotten more commitments starting at the very end of this challenge so that's fun :') It's been very hectic and I haven't gone out much, so it's getting pretty difficult honestly.”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “It's hard to commit to things, honestly, but the difficulty has nothing to do with this challenge because if anything, I'm more productive. It's definitely easier, though, to bounce back into exercise and diet routines when I'm not depressed over (belief of) lack of sleep.”

How would you feel about participating in another "make or break" sometime in the future?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I would gladly participate in another "make or break" in the future as it grants an opportunity to create good habits and the weekly check-ins would help keep me on track.”

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): “This challenge helped me get to know my boundaries much better and I always strive to keep improving myself, so I would love to join another!!”

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “I would love to!”

Anything else you'd like to add?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): "I just want to say to the other remaining participants that I know that at times the challenge may have been hard but I just wanted to say that you both did an amazing job and go us!!
Side note: To those who may be thinking of trying this challenge on their own, I say go for it! It's an incredible habit to create and the benefits of it are great.”


Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): “Nah, these were too many questions already. (why did I do this to myself and the other two?)”

Which best describes you right now?

Ayesha Rivera (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)

Julianne Ho (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)

Misheel Batkhuu (Grade 11): Option 4 (blushing, happy)

If you would like to make any suggestions for our next "Make or Break" series, we would love to hear your suggestions! Send them in through here: https://forms.gle/9XwhusCA63ueVxCm9

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