Homework vs. Home Life: How Should We Prioritize?

Madison Richard, Contributor

As high school students know, the change in workload is quite drastic from middle school to freshman year. As a middle school student, I had time to play sports, do homework, and socialize after school, while still getting to bed at a reasonable hour. The workload in high school almost forces us to sacrifice at least one of these items. Immense amounts of stress are placed on students, freshmen especially, which will cause us to be exhausted each morning when we come to school.

I know from personal experience that  I have an average of about two to three hours of homework each night. Though this may not seem like that much, factoring in sports and sleep consumes much of my after-school life.

After surveying several high-schoolers, I found that the average student-athlete gets approximately seven hours of sleep and eats three or fewer meals with their family out of five weekdays. It is important that we have a life outside of school, seeing as students spend the majority of the day in class. Sports and family time are a break from this mental stress, however, after school work is slowly beginning to cut into these activities as well.

As a matter of fact, it has been found that too much homework is actually unhealthy for the brain. A study from goodtherapy.org found that “Over time, this stress [from homework] can create real problems for a developing brain.” The site went on further to explain that the cortisol released in the brain when a child is stressed can have negative effects on several other parts of the brain. Thus, the stress from too much homework is actually unhealthy for adolescents.

Homework has certainly consumed much of my life. I constantly have a burden, even on the weekends, that I have homework awaiting me. Even right now I am stressed out because I am writing this article, which is due tomorrow, and still need to complete work for three other classes, while managing to get sleep, eat dinner, and go to practice.  It is unfair to overload students with so much work after we have already sat in a school for six and a half hours absorbing information. We need a social life. We need a break. We need less homework!