A Day In the Life of a 12- (Almost 13!) Year-Old Brooklynite

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We asked a Gen Z sample size of one to break down an average day in terms of the tech and media she consumes. "I personally don't consider myself typical," says our correspondent. "There are millions of kids my age who have experienced different things and learned about life in their own way." The following is a day in Freya's media diet, edited only for space. (And yes, full disclosure, she is the daughter of our editor-- but she worked for free. Mostly.)

Freya Braiker
Freya Braiker

6:30 a.m.: I jolt awake from the sound of my alarm clock. I try to shake off sleep as I get up and get my uniform out of the closet.

7 a.m.: I grab a book, like "Calvin and Hobbes" or "The Far Side." My mom has turned on NPR and is listening to the news. I don't mind it, though it can be annoying. I eat while reading. No screens allowed on weekday mornings (but I normally sneak a look at the weather or my cat game, "Neko Atsume").

8:05 a.m.: I'm out of the house and heading to my bus stop.

8:15 a.m.: I start to freak out because the bus hasn't come yet. I text a code to the bus that tells me it's a stop away. During the ride, I play games on my iPhone, like "Rodeo Stampede," "Alto's Adventure" or "Recolor." Lots of kids have Instagram, but I'm not allowed to, nor do I want it. I don't want to turn into the person who's like, "Omigod, I have this many followers!" or "This only got that many likes?" (I like playing with Snapchat filters on my dad's phone though.)

8:40 a.m.: We normally watch CNN 10 before school starts. I like the part called "10 out of 10" because it's usually something funny and random that happened somewhere in the world, like the man who found $1,000 in the back of his TV once.

9 a.m.: In humanities we are researching Washington's presidency. My group uses Google Classroom to choose what we want to learn about. I choose the French Revolution. I love history, so this class is really fun.

9:52 a.m.: Today in Mandarin class we learn that you ask people their ages in three different ways according to how old they seem. For homework we have to use a website called Arch Chinese and it teaches us the correct stroke order for a certain character.

10:44 a.m.: Lunch! (Yes, we have lunch at 10:44. No phones allowed.)

11:36 a.m.: In musical theater we learn a song called "Lift Every Voice and Sing" for a middle school gathering that's coming up. Our teacher shows us a cool YouTube video of an a cappella group singing the song. I also like musicals, like "Hamilton" and "Amélie." Otherwise, the music today is trash. Beyoncé's actually quite good. But I like the Beatles or Michael Jackson or Sam Cooke. My dad is a record collector. It's annoying when he walks by a record store because he has to stop in and look.

1:20 p.m.: In English Language Arts we start watching a movie of the book we just finished, called "A Raisin in the Sun." It was cool, but didn't really have what the book did.

2:12 p.m.: In math we're taking a test on probability. I studied the night before, so I feel confident. I can check my grades on TeacherEase, which is a website that records your assignments, grades and fees that are due.

3:04 p.m.: Final period! I have a thing called VmathLive, where everyone in the classroom grabs a laptop and you proceed through levels. After every level you complete you can customize your own avatar. It's not my favorite period.

3:45 p.m.: I hang out with my friends until the bus comes. I normally go onto my phone and play "Rodeo Stampede." My friends fool around on Instagram and sometimes do Live feeds if the bus is late and it's cold out. I text friends from camp who don't live in Brooklyn, and my sitter to tell her I'm on the way home. I use Bitmoji almost every day—it's quite necessary for conveying my emotions because emojis don't always do it correctly.

3:55 p.m.: I don't see a lot of ads during the day. There are ads on the side of the bus, normally something like Sleepy's (mattresses) or Vim Vixen jeans (it has a woman ... and her butt—it's just ugh) or "Dear Evan Hansen," which I saw and is AMAZING!

4 p.m.: I have to walk my dog, Dottie, and start on my homework. Some days my sister and I will watch IISuperwomanII or Liza Koshy videos on YouTube. I also like old "SNL" clips where they crack up in the middle of the sketch.

5:45 p.m.: I eat dinner early so I can make it to Dungeons & Dragons on time. I go to a place called Game Lab twice a week for board games and role-playing games with friends. No phones allowed.

9:30 p.m.: D&D ends and I walk home. It's too late to watch anything. If it were earlier, I'd watch either "Stranger Things" or "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix (we usually only watch Netflix, Hulu or HBO Go). On a school night, I'm in bed by 8:30 or 9 and I leave my phone and computer with one of my parents.

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