High Schoolers Are Overworked; Decreased Workload is the Solution

Written by: Delainey Wilson, Head of Layout

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According to several mental health studies, today’s generation of teenagers is the most stressed and anxious out of all generations before them. This has been proven to be an effect of large homework loads, jobs, as well as extracurriculars. Along with high-stress levels, many mental illnesses are also surfacing in high school students, such as anxiety and depression. These extremely high levels of stress and illnesses need to be changed in order to help students succeed after high school.

Arguably the largest reason for a students’ stress is school, but more specifically, homework. 4,317 students from 10 high-performing high schools in upper-middle-class California communities were surveyed and asked how many hours of homework they had each night. Between them, the average turned out to be 3.1 hours of homework every night. A Stanford researcher discovered that two hours of homework every night is counterproductive, let alone over three hours.

Furthermore, a survey showed that one-third of high schoolers said that they felt anxious, stressed or stuck while doing their homework or studying. When this stress builds up over a five day school week, it can begin to take a serious toll on a student’s mental health. Sixty-one percent of students surveyed by Pew Research Center said that trying to get good grades was their highest stressor in everyday life. With students feeling this stressed, it’s not a surprise as to why the mental illness crisis has increased so rapidly in these high school students.

Some organizations, however, have been attempting to make a change. Organizations such as the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association have recommended that ten minutes of homework each night for the number of grade level that the student is in is found to be much more productive (juniors would have 110 minutes, and seniors would have 120 minutes).

If more changes are made to help students manage their stress by decreasing homework load, it would immensely benefit how students would succeed after their completion of high school.

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