Have you heard of the saying “don’t spread yourself too thin?” Most South students aren’t taking that advice.
Students are learning to balance school, jobs, sports, sleep and other commitments that fill their schedules to the brim. The average amount of time homework takes is three and a half hours a night and they have to balance that with work and extracurricular activities.
Five hours of sleep a night tends to be the average amount of sleep, because of having sports and work back to back, then get home late and stay up doing their homework to try to maintain their good grades.
Junior Ryan Summa said, “Depending on the night, normally I do get four to five hours of sleep or no sleep at all. I stay up until one or I just don’t go to bed. If it’s 3 a.m., normally I would just stay up and go to school, because trying to get under three or four hours of sleep makes it worse.”
The majority of the busy students feel as though they don’t get enough time budgeted for homework. They struggle to get it done before they inevitably fall asleep, before school or during tutorial.
Junior Kristen Clevenger said, “No, I generally just kind of wing everything and hope it turns out okay, which it normally does. I try to get most of it done during class.”
Because of the lack of time the students have for school work, they have become stressed.
“You know how when you are so stressed that you are panicky but then you get to the point when you’re just calm and going with the flow?” said junior, Jae Hlavacek. “That’s where I’m at right now, and I’m like borderline about to pass the point of calmness. I don’t know what’s past the point of calmness.”
Moments when students have felt the most stressed tends to fall around times of tests, competitions or big school functions.
Junior Kaley Dustin said the her specific moment was recently; she said that she just remembers bursting into tears from being so overwhelmed from having to remember all over her drill and work for Color Guard and working two jobs. Kaley works roughly 20 hours per jobs she has a week.
Clevenger said that the moment she remembers about being overwhelmed was when she had three tests coming up and there were softball games every day beforehand and she had no time to study.
Junior Megan Beagley said that her moment that she felt extremely overwhelmed from stress was Homecoming week and reveal night.
“I had to cancel work for that. I didn’t even get to eat that night, until 11:00 p.m. when I got home. I didn’t do any of my homework, I didn’t go to work, I didn’t talk to anyone. I was just at school doing STUCO,” she said.
Hlavacek said her moment was recently, she said she was worried with personal details and school work.
“I had a project for Forensics that took me six hours, worksheet to fill out that I didn’t get done in class, a three to four page English paper, I had test corrections and homework for algebra, and I now have a final to study for before next week, and I have a test two days before that final,” she said.
Summa said that one moment he remembers being stressed was the second week of school, because he got behind in his classes.
“I had no time to work on anything and I was still attempting to get a normal amount of sleep, so I couldn’t figure out enough time to work on class and actually sleep,” he said.
Part of trying to balance school and other extra curricular activities is making sacrifices. For the most part the biggest sacrifices that students have had to make is sleep and spending time with their friends.
Hlavacek said, “I haven’t been able to hang out with my friends as much as I want to. Anytime I get to hang out with them it’s in a study group or if we are getting together just to work on homework. I don’t get to spend as much time with my dog as I want to. I only get to spend time with him if he lays next to me while I do my homework. I don’t get to take him out for walks, and that sucks.”
When students do get free time they tend to try to catch up on sleep that they miss out on, because they stay up so late doing homework.
“When I do get free time it is mostly used for sleeping, other than that, maybe lay down, sit on my phone for a little bit,” she said.
While quite a few kids are spreading themselves too thin, most students are learning how to manage their time quite well.