October 23, 2019

Bearcats Strike for Climate -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

A Personal Account On Vaping -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Girls Water Polo Resumes Winning Ways -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Running into the 2019 season -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How Media Affects The Mind -

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Matilda Provides Hope -

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mock Trial: Murder Trials, New Captains, and Autonomous Vehicle Accidents -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS Starts the Year Cellphone Free -

Monday, October 14, 2019

SMHS’ Boomwhacker Club -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Questioning the Ethics of Unconventional Childbearing -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Don’t Blame Video Games -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Why Disney Won’t Stop Remaking Movies -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The Versatility of Virtual Reality -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pondering Yondr -

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Mr. Shea: The Meme King -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

#AHistoryofBadBoycotts -

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Increased Regulation is Necessary for Homeschooling -

Thursday, August 29, 2019

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Students Are Drowning in Homework

toomuchwork

Lynn Sasaki, sophomore at SMHS, stresses out as she scrambles to do all of her schoolwork and keep up with her extracurricular activities.

Disclaimer: Personally, I am an advocate of hard work and practice; I believe classwork and homework, when done with the intention of learning (and not merely getting it done), is advantageous and necessary for a student. However, I also firmly believe that the general workload for high school students is quite far from advantageous and necessary– in fact, it is the opposite.

We are teenagers, not work machines. We are humans, not robots who can sacrifice their lives for a good grade. We are adolescents, and we should not be drowning in mental breakdowns, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Perhaps if getting work done successfully was the only factor to having good grades and getting into a good college (which our current society so adamantly insists is necessary), the workload is fine as it is. But the factors to getting into a good college include far more than maintaining good grades; being well-rounded creates a need for being devoted to extracurricular activities, volunteer work, etc. Many teachers seem to assign work as if that was the only thing that their students had to do, but with extracurricular activities, I, along with many others, often don’t get to do my homework until nine or ten at night. On top of that, more and more studies are finding how important mental and physical health (and sleep!) are to a student. “‘The data shows that homework over this level is not only not beneficial to children’s grades or GPA, but there’s really a plethora of evidence that it’s detrimental to their attitude about school, their grades, their self-confidence, their social skills, and their quality of life,’” Donaldson-Pressman told CNN in Sandra Levy’s article “Is too much homework bad for kids’ health?”

In other words, high school students need to be excellent at schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and maintain a healthy lifestyle– not to mention the numerous social pressures of being up-to-date on everything cool. We need to accomplish these goals, but with the workload given, it is simply impossible, no matter how one manages their time; the reality is not in balance with the expectations. We can only be a jack of all trades, and a master of none or sacrifice one thing for everything else, which usually turns out to be sacrificing our health for schoolwork and extracurricular activities. It is a risky decision with many possible long-term consequences, but it is one that many of us are forced to make.

Now, as I said before, I do think a decent amount of practicing concepts learned in school is necessary. After all, I would much rather take a quiz on topics that I’ve had practice with. But I find that at least a quarter of the work I do is unnecessary, and very much “busy work.” This busy work then takes up time from studying for other subjects and sleep–which then leads to me being way too tired the next day, making it harder to retain information and participate in class, consequently forcing me to spend more time studying topics that I could have learned much quicker had I gotten more sleep. All in all, it is an extremely vicious cycle. So why give us 50 problems of the same type (though if they were all different types of problems that we need to know how to do, I would understand) as if we have all the time in the world to spare, instead of giving us half the amount with quality problems designed to help us practice a reasonable amount and understand the topic?

In general, if high schoolers must reach such high expectations in the academic and extracurricular fields without sacrificing their health, we cannot have this much work. Adults that I’ve talked to are shocked to hear that high school students have so much work– in fact, they do not remember having to do that much work at all.

“On average, I sleep about four hours per night. I get sick a lot, and my immune system is taking a hit,” says Vivian Yao, sophomore at SMHS. Teenagers are supposed to get at least eight-and-a-half hours a night, but with the workload that we have (no matter how adults insist that time management solves everything), sleeping enough is an unattainable goal.  So why raise the standard so high for students if it’s not necessary, and detrimental to our health in all aspects?

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