PCP: Are students overworked?

Parks workload causes discussion among students
PCP: Are students overworked?
Student workload is manageable

Park students are not being overworked. All that students at Park deal with at school and at home is manageable and can be executed easily with the right mindset. Every student at Park has dealt with the difficulties of being overworked and not feeling that they have enough time to get done with their homework. But why is that the reason? Maybe the homework is manageable, but students aren’t using their time properly. Or maybe students aren’t really paying attention in class to be able to get the work done at home or focus during class and understand the material that students are learning. These are some issues that students face that, when dealt with, can cause overwhelming feelings and the sense of having too much when, in reality, it’s pretty manageable. 

In some cases, due to problems that students might face in their own personal life, getting homework from school or just managing to get work done can be a struggle, but most

students have enough time to finish their assignments and most teachers give a reasonable amount of time to turn in assignments. The issue is more about how students are getting their work done and how they are managing their time to get these assignments in. There has to be a change in mindset for students to focus more on getting assignments in on time. That has a lot to do with a lot of students struggling with procrastination, always just putting things to the side until the last minute. Of course, when you have multiple assignments due, and you’re doing them in such a short amount of time, it’s going to feel like a lot. That’s where a mentality of being overworked comes into play. 

Paying attention in class and getting your work done in class is also a very important key to success in getting work done on time. If you know what you are doing in class, it is much easier to finish the homework that you are assigned during class. If you are not paying attention in class, which might be the students who feel that they are being overwhelmed, it can lead to struggles when finishing assignments and taking a longer time to finish assignments or not finishing them at all. This all leads to students being behind in classes and not staying up to task with what is ahead for that class, which can again create the sense of feeling overworked.

Teachers don’t want their students to feel overworked with assignments or homework, they want their students to have the best opportunity to do well in that class. They want to give their students the appropriate amount of time to finish the assignment to let them have time and not overwhelm them with little time to get done with assignments. Showing that teachers aren’t the reason for overworking students with school work, but realizing it’s more on the students part to be able to get their work done and it’s more on how they use their time to get it done.

The real issue isn’t that students are being overworked but that they don’t have the discipline and focus to get done with assignments or pay attention in class which leads to being more stressed out and being behind on work. It’s how students use their time. Like stated before, teachers want students to succeed, but ultimately it’s the students choice to want to do these things. As a school, we need to focus on the importance of being able to stay on top of assignments when they are due and also talk more about the consequences of not paying attention in class and procrastination. 

All these reasons show that students aren’t really overworked, but decide to make poor choices on whether they want to pay attention during class or if they want to take time to finish their assignments. It’s all about choices and discipline to take accountability. Because the students who do end up making poor choices will feel overwhelmed and overworked, and blame it on the school or their teachers, when in reality it was their choices that lead to this feeling.

Too much school work hurts students’ mental health and social lives

In recent years, there has seemed to be a debate over whether teens are truly overworked or are being dramatic. Coming from a student who has been living through high school the last 3 years, I can say without a doubt that teens are overworked and it has taken a toll on us. 

The first thing that needs to be addressed is the workload that is thrown on to students. While in middle school, the workload is light and breezy and there seems to not be a care in the world. All of a sudden, you are into high school and this whirlpool of essays, discussions, tests, flashcards and all sorts of nightmarish things. I’m not sure if middle school education truly prepared students for the workload high school has in store, or maybe it has to do with the education system as a whole. It doesn’t really matter what system is at fault, all I know is that my fellow peers and I are drowning. 

Students are at school for seven hours a day and as soon as they come home they have another three hours of work to do. I have had days where I come home from a long day at school, sit down at my table at 4pm and work on my homework until 10pm. How can this be expected of anyone, especially kids?

It also makes it near-impossible to be a student athlete or be in clubs and maintain good grades. Yes, homework is important because it helps you understand material but there comes a point where unnecessary work can take a toll on teens’ mental health. 16% of teenagers report to have depression and 31% of high school students suffer from an anxiety disorder. These numbers have risen significantly over the recent years and part of it is from the overwork that these students face. It is not normal for any human to work 24/7, so why is it expected of growing teens to go to school 5 days a week, and if they have a job, work on the weekends. Speaking from personal experience, this lifestyle is unhealthy and seriously damages kids’ mental health. 

When depression has increased 40% in the last ten years among teenagers, you know it’s not something that’s dramatized. This is a real issue that is hurting your friends and family and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. The education system and the people in charge need to look at change from a personal lens. How would they feel if their child was suffering from mental heath issues? They are the ones in charge of our future, but how are students supposed to focus on the future when they can hardly stay afloat right now.

In addition we have seen an increase with students having to chose between a social life and school. When a teenager is at school all week and has a job on the weekends or spends the entire weekend with their nose shoved in a textbook, they rarely get a break. Lack of breaks leads to severe burn out. A kid shouldn’t have to choose between having a social life and getting good grades, especially when they are supposed to be having a memorable time in highschool.

Another issue that has been affecting teenagers is the amount of tests that they have in a week, and sometimes on the same day. Units typically last around two weeks, and many times tests fall on the same day. It is really difficult to study effectively for multiple subjects within a few days. Teachers also aren’t usually willing to accommodate the needs of students because material is cramped and they have to get through so many units.This school year, I have had maybe two teachers change their test days because students were too stressed. It allowed students more time to study and overall do better on the exams. 

High school and planning for your future is stressful enough, and the amount of homework students have been getting is immense and overwhelming. A 14-18 year old shouldn’t be expected to act like a machine and give 100% all the time. 

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