{shortcode-6754f15cd65c2e5be1775518e4c04a0e6d97df7c}As an international student, I am constantly baffled by some of America’s more unique attributes. I’m always asking questions like, why is a dime smaller than a penny? What is the electoral college? Why are there only three feet in a yard, but 12 inches in a foot? Honestly, why so persistent on the imperial system? However, since the pandemic hit, those studying from home are faced with another set of challenges: time difference. I’ll take you along my day in Tokyo (13 hours ahead of Cambridge time) but virtually, keeping up with the hype nowadays.

6:00 p.m.: Good morning/evening! After some good day’s sleep, I wake up to see the evening gaze and a plateful of dinner.

12:30 a.m.: Classes finally begin! I sustain my urge to dive into bed with my fluffy pajamas and fire up Zoom. Cue the awkward introductions in breakout rooms which always end up with me saying “It’s midnight where I am” and the other person responding “I don’t know how you do that.”

2:00 a.m.: Still class time while staring through the pitch black skies and listening to my dad’s blaring snores.

4:45 a.m.: Finally done with classes! A quick lunch break!

6:00 a.m.: As I work on my problem set, I notice that the sun is coming up. I might fire up some Youtube workout videos but with caution not to wake up my parents who are still fast asleep.

8:30 a.m.: Breakfast? Dinner? Food time! My parents call it a breakfast, but to me, it’s my third meal of the day.

9:30 a.m.: Starting to get sleepy, but heading to class with my third cup of coffee in hand.

12:00 p.m.: Getting ready to go to bed, but simultaneously running errands. Who wouldn’t want to get groceries right before bed?

2:00 p.m.: Although sunlight is now shining through my blinds, it’s time for me to go to bed. Good night/afternoon! Zzz…

My day boils down to having a lot of coffee, writing to people that I can’t go to meetings because of time difference (although I’m probably awake), and complaining to strangers in random Zoom breakout rooms. A silver lining to this nocturnal schedule is that I am not a plant — I don’t need photosynthesis to produce glucose and sustain myself. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to having class when the sun is also up. Then, not sleeping in and making it to my 9 a.m. will be the only thing I need to worry about!