All work and no play makes Mac a dull school

Excessive homework causes fatigue, depression, defeatism

Homework+keeps+teens+up+late+at+night%2C+preventing+them+from+getting+enough+rest%2C+which+leaves+students+exhausted+and+susceptible+to+depression+and+a+defeatist+attitude.

Amaya Collier

Homework keeps teens up late at night, preventing them from getting enough rest, which leaves students exhausted and susceptible to depression and a defeatist attitude.

Amaya Collier, staff reporter

McCallum students are burnt out. As teens make the rough adjustment from a year and a half of online school to in-person, many are struggling with managing their homework loads. 

As in-person provided more flexibility with due dates and a lessened workload many students felt in control of their academic success; however, since in-person schooling has resumed students (particularly those in many honors classes) are struggling to get grounded in this new and rigid environment. According to a MacJ Instagram poll, 83% of student respondents said that they felt burnt out by their homework load.  

The nearly 9-5 school days, extracurricular activities, and family responsibilities are more than enough on a 14-18 year old’s plate, but with the addition of a heaping homework load many students are drowning.

Homework keeps teens up late at night, making them susceptible to exhaustion the next day. This cycle during the school week and the repetition of this lifestyle can invoke depressive feelings, fatigue, and defeat.”

Apart from school hours, teens involved in clubs or other extracurriculars devote additional time after school.  Some students also have jobs after school to help support themselves or their families. This leaves them with little time to keep up with their schoolwork. According to a MacJ poll, students spend between 1-3 hours on homework each night. By that time, it’s late and students feel an immense amount of stress to complete their homework on time. 

This extreme schedule leads students to a breaking point where they face anxiety, stress, fatigue, and fear. The amount of homework assigned displays a lack of consideration and care for student’s mental, social, personal and physical health. Achieving academic success in the eyes of the school means sacrificing your mental health. Many students in search of a successful future or academic validation struggle with this impossible decision. 

Throughout students’ education, they have heard the recurring concept that academic success is achieved by taking many honors classes and by being involved in several extracurriculars and in the community. I find this concept to be one of the greatest misconceptions within the education system. 

Many students strive for this goal but realize it’s unattainable because of what is already expected from them in their classes. This infeasible goal is frustrating as it keeps students isolated in their rooms hunched over, working long hours, not exercising, skipping meals and chasing a rainbow. 

The bar is set at an impossible level yet educators emphasize that it is a realistic target, and it leaves students feeling like they just aren’t good enough if they can’t meet those unrealistic expectations. Students are left feeling not smart enough, or like they aren’t putting in enough effort when they are already sacrificing themselves and every ounce of energy they have into this brutal and unforgiving environment.

According to a MacJ Instagram poll, 83% of student respondents said that they felt burnt out by their homework load.”

Many students seeking academic validation are experiencing immense pressure, leaving far too many with deteriorating mental health. Their incessant anxiety over finishing their homework each night enables and establishes unhealthy behaviors within teens’ lifestyles. For example, when stressed by work many students don’t take care of themselves; they end up not getting enough sleep, exercise or breaks. Additionally, this can lead to students becoming alienated and isolated from friends as family as their homework doesn’t account for quality time with loved ones. Sometimes dinner is the little to only substantial socialization they have with their family all day before returning to the grind in which most are shut off from the world, trapped in their rooms.

Educators claim this is the optimal pathway to a successful future and getting accepted into a good college. Although being well-rounded is important and universities do evaluate your GPA when applying, it is untrue to claim that your acceptance to a college is dependent upon your involvement in as much as possible. Rather, college admission officers want to identify your passion and the efforts you put forth in pursuing that passion because it gives them a glimpse into what your academic pathway will look like.  Therefore, don’t feel the need to overwork yourself. Do what you can, pursue your passions, and you will be taken care of.

Although some teachers and administrators would claim homework is essential to a student’s mastery of a subject, one could argue that if a student’s homework load wasn’t staggering every night, they would be able to be more attentive when it comes to the material they learn in school. 

If teachers and administrators made the collective effort to lessen the homework load there would be immense positive outcomes.”

In my mind, there is one clear solution, which is to find the root of this dilemma. Homework. Homework keeps teens up late at night, making them susceptible to exhaustion the next day. This cycle during the school week and the repetition of this lifestyle can invoke depressive feelings, fatigue, and defeat. This fatigue limits the comprehensive ability, attention span, and productivity of students. 

When you view the issue from this perspective it displays a win-win situation: teachers gain more engaged students, students gain a healthier lifestyle through the lessening or elimination of homework. 

Some may argue that homework serves as a practice to engage students in the content, but in the seven hours and 45 minutes that teachers have with their pupils every day, they engage in plenty of classwork that provides practice. Further, if that isn’t substantial enough students have the opportunity to go in for morning, lunch, after-school, and weekend tutoring for additional support.

In order for young adults to academically succeed they must be able to relate to their work with an open mind and with a curiosity and motivation to learn, but the excessive amount of homework received by students creates a negative energy and stigma surrounding learning as teens begin to associate it with their exhaustion, lack of free time, and unstable mental health. If teachers and administrators made the collective effort to lessen the homework load there would be immense positive outcomes.