Too much for teens? School work causes breakdowns

Hearing that loud, obnoxious, beeping alarm noise go off at 6 a.m. every weekday morning never fails to remind me just how tired I am from staying up late the night before, working on hours of homework.

Too often, high school students end up having emotional meltdowns due to the amount of stress school causes and the stacks of homework teachers give out on a nightly basis. For most of us, these breakdowns consist of wanting to curl up in a ball and cry until we think we feel better, only to repeat it.

I prefer not to count the number of meltdowns I personally have had throughout my high school career due to homework, stress and the hours spent on it. Students who have taken similar courses say the same thing.

Sometimes it seems as if teachers do not know that many of us have outside activities such as sports, clubs, or volunteer work that tend to occur every day and take up many hours. Or, they are aware of it and still decide to assign hours of homework each night.

Depending on the activities in which students are involved, it can take anywhere from two to four hours after school; then, they must go home and start on their homework, which could take as much as six hours.

While the amount of homework you have does depend on the type of classes you take in high school, many of us sign up for AP and honors classes because, in addition to personal satisfaction, it has basically become a requirement to get into top colleges.

It is my choice to take AP classes, and, yes, I know that I am signing up for a college-level course, but I also know that in college, while the work is harder, you have several days or sometimes even a week to complete the assignment.

Piling on honors, as well as AP class work, all in one night can be a major overload, especially when that is the case almost every night. Daily homework should be a review of what we studied in class that day, not something to be slaved over for hours.

I am fortunate in having been taught by a teacher at Northwood who believes in time management. This teacher will assign a fair amount of homework, but we are given around a week to complete it all. This teaching technique is one that I love because it allows me to plan and manage my time wisely, without it all feeling like an overload.

High school is supposed to be preparing us for our lives ahead, whether we choose going straight to college or getting an early jump start on our career. A key tool that counters stress is time management, which teachers do not always make so easy.

Teenagers today are under so much pressure to make outstanding grades, get into the top colleges and be perfect in today’s society that many of us feel like we’re about to crack. We want to receive that A + on our homework; therefore we spend hours on it each night trying to perfect it.

I believe that if teachers were to incorporate time management into their teaching style and spread the workload over several days, students would do better and show an improvement in grades. If students are to be held accountable for completing all homework every night, teachers should be held accountable for realizing the total workload that students have to deal with and the time and effort that goes along with it.

— By Dana Walker

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