There’s A Reason We Can’t Remember Certain Days Of The Week

Alain Saint-Dic
Alain Saint-Dic, Health and Fitness Editor at 20something, brings over nine years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Though he studied pre-law, his love for the human body, it's adaptive ability and unlocking the largely untapped potential of human beings led him to pursue a passionate career in health, fitness, and athletics.

“Toniiiiiight, we are young!” It’s Friday! Time to smack the stack of folders off your desk and walk away without looking back. But realistically going back to pick the folders up because two days after Friday is the dreaded Monday.

And on Monday, we are old and slow. Though only two days apart in the calendar week, these two days are polar opposites. One elicits feelings of happiness and freedom, while the other brings dread, fatigue, and stress. However, at the end of it all, at least these weekdays are memorable.

On any given Monday or Friday, you’re aware of what day of the week it is, but Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday might as well be named Michelle, Kelly, and that other fourth member of the group. Most of us have been caught midweek, struggling to remember whether we just missed a scheduled Tuesday meeting, or if the post-work happy hour is tomorrow or the day after. It turns out, there’s a scientific reason we can’t remember certain days.


The Study

Psychologists from three universities (Lincoln, York and Hertfordshire) conducted an experiment to test how we thought of each day of the week, and what this had to do with how we viewed time. For example, Wednesday is humpday, which either means the week is almost done or we’re hopefully going to have some fun with Netflix and a bottle of wine.

These psychologist asked students what they thought of most when each day of the week came to mind. You should actually take a pen and paper and try this at home. Go through the days of the week and write down 2-7 words to describe each one. Feel free to curse and exaggerate.


The Results

It turned out that days like Monday and Friday simply had stronger representations in our minds or stronger associations. Monday had a long list of negative associations, while Friday had a long list of positive associations (check your list, is it accurate?).

The other members of the weekday group didn’t associate too strongly with anything leading to them being easily confused and mixed up for one another.


So when you’re cluelessly going through your entire Wednesday schedule on a Tuesday, it’s not because you’re clueless, it’s because Wednesday hasn’t caused enough pleasure or havoc in your life to be memorable.


What This Mean For Us 20somethings

The interesting thing is that these days don’t really exist. Monday and Friday are either 2 days apart or 3 days apart, depending on how you look at it. But in reality, the week is a social construct, so Monday and Friday don’t really exist. From the day you were born, each day has been legitimately unique, never to be seen again. Instead of calling it Monday, you should call it “day X of sunrise in my life,” and just be grateful that you woke up on that day.

I understand that because we live in a society that revolves around the construct of days and times, we should follow suit if we intend to live in society, by the rules of society. That being said, we can also change how we view the days, by working on attaching positive associations to each and every day, so no matter how full our inboxes may be, every day can feel like “Friday.”

“So lets set the world on fiiiiiiire, we can burn briiiighter, than the suuuun.”

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