School & Stress: A Tale of Homework, Sports, and College Admissions

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Photo Credit: Kelly Streaser

by Kelly Streaser, Advertising Manager

Imagine this: It’s half way through your lunch period, and your turkey sandwich remains untouched. You haven’t eaten anything yet, because you’re finishing the English homework that you couldn’t do last night. You didn’t get home until 8:00 because your team had an away game, and then you had to spend a few hours doing a Document Based Question (DBQ) for History, and then your Pre-Calculus homework before finally passing out in your bed at about 2:30am. You overslept and missed breakfast, and now it looks like you’re going to miss lunch too. When you ask your Science teacher if you’re getting back that huge test that determines your grade for the marking period, he simply responds by saying that he has been really busy, and he is not sure when he will be able to get it back to you. You idly wonder if this excuse would be acceptable if you didn’t finish your homework on time because you had so much other work to do. It probably wouldn’t, so you keep trying to find time to get all your work done, but there are only so many hours in a day. This has become all too common for students these days, and it is taking us to a scary place.

Stress. It’s defined in the medical dictionary as “a physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental tension or physiological reactions that may lead to illness.” It’s an affliction that high school students must cope with every waking moment of their lives during the school year. There is pressure to do well in school and to figure out what you want to do with your life. And if you want to get into a good college – you should probably start a small business or invent something unique. Then there are extracurricular activities: you should definitely do a few of those. This is of course not to mention volunteer work and having a social life. If you have any time left after that, you might want to try to squeeze in a few hours of sleep.

With each passing year, teachers are piling more and more work onto the already enormous workload of high school students. They fail to realize that with all this work that needs to get done, adding more only compromises the quality of the work and students’ lives.

With students under so much pressure in all aspects of their lives, it’s unrealistic to think that they’ll be successful in everything they do. Teachers, coaches, and parents need to realize this: this is a plea to lighten students’ workload. Doing this will improve their work quality and hopefully their lives will get just a little easier to handle.