Photo by Milan Loiacono
Daniel Perez knows how to burn the candle at both ends.
Perez, a second-year graduate student earning his Master of Divinity, spends his days studying Greek and Hebrew, working with the Office of Convocation and surfing or skating in whatever free time he has.
When many students head for bed, Perez enjoys the creative energy and freedom of the night. Playing music, reading and watching skate clips help him reset after a long day.
“I’m pretty introverted, so being alone definitely gives me time to recharge even though I don’t get a lot of sleep,” Perez said.
Perez said he appreciates the solitude that comes with the night and sees each night as a chance to escape and be himself.
“I don’t have to interact with other people that might have a different opinion of what is cool, especially music-wise,” Perez said. “So I’m really able to explore different sounds and create weird things on my computer, with my guitar — whatever instrument that I have available at the time.”
Freedom from distractions, Perez said, gives him the space to be creative.
“Sometimes I feel pretty productive during the day, but the thing is, when I’m productive, I tend to shut out a lot of people,” Perez said. “I can’t really interact with people and be productive at the same time.”
Perez said his abnormal sleep habits are motivated by introversion but they may also have to do with his family.
“My dad doesn’t sleep that well; he has legit insomnia,” Perez said. “I think maybe I got a little bit of that too. There’s nights where even if I’m tired and I want to go to sleep, I find myself laying in bed and listening to music for two or three hours before I’m able to fully go to bed.”
Perez is an example of a student who, amidst a busy schedule, sets aside time for himself to do things he loves. In the solitude of his room, alongside his records, guitar, drum machine and laptop, Perez said he feels most comfortable to explore his interests.
“When I’m in my room, I don’t have the distraction of other people around me, and I don’t feel bad focusing on one thing,” Perez said. “Whereas, during the day, when there’s always people around, I feel bad tuning them out to get things done.”
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