Finding Balance: The Full Schedule Of The Modern Day Student

Between work, school, and play – it’s hard for anyone to find balance between the three, let alone high school students. 14-year-olds, 18-year-olds, and everyone in between, thrown into this expectation of maintaining a 3.0 GPA, getting involved, and getting accepted into some form of higher education, after four years of trying to figure out how to get there. Students, nationwide, are basing so much of their worth over a test score, because the model of “success” they try to follow requires nothing lower than an A grade. Needless to say, there are various pressures that come with being a student, and finding balance through it all is a whole other challenge to navigate.

Homework has become a vastly controversial topic in today’s society. Opinions ranging from “Ban Homework” to “The More Homework The Better” are all out there and prevalent. With homework, students are forced to extend their time working, outside of the classroom, on the same materials they just spent eight hours focused on. It becomes more difficult to navigate any sort of balance when you have an hour, or more, worth of work to go home to. Throw in the eight hour school days, extracurriculars, jobs, in some cases, social life, and (the lack of) eight hours of sleep a night- students go through the same routine, at least five days a week. The same schedule, for days on end, is bound to get tiring and stressful-  and homework should play little-to-no role in that daily routine. 

As students, we’re always told to “get involved”, “join clubs”, and to “put [ourselves] out there”; the more clubs you join, the better. And yes, students should do that; get involved, join groups, put themselves out there, but if it becomes too much to handle, they must put themselves first. Joining groups is a great way to become well connected, but when it becomes unenjoyable, it becomes a waste of time. Getting involved is great, but when students do it solely because it’s pushed upon them, it becomes a problem. Joining an extracurricular is supposed to serve as an outlet for students to do something they enjoy doing with a like-minded group of people; not as another stressor they’re sticking to only because it’s something they feel they need to do. 

School is not life; it’s just a part of it. It should definitely not take up as much time as it does. Students should be able to spend 8 hours a day dedicated to school work and the rest focused on extracurriculars, work, family, friends, and themselves. Something intended for the betterment of our students, has manifested itself as a negative impact on their personal life, and mental health. Finding balance between life and school is not as simple as it may seem, and the pressure to find this balance is higher than ever.