Grades are sometimes not worth the cost

Students should not have to sacrifice well-being for the sake of a grade

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Most of us have been there at some point: it’s 1 a.m., you have only finished half of your homework, you have at least another hour to go and you are asking yourself why you’re even still up. That’s a valid question. Why stay up? There is an underlying problem in this situation: students are sacrificing physical and emotional wellness for the sake of a letter on their transcripts. Teachers and students must work to find a happy medium between home life and how much time they (are forced to) spend on homework.

Teenagers are encouraged to sleep for at least nine hours a night because these are the most important years in their development. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the number of teens that regularly achieve that is as low as 15 percent. As a result, daytime alertness is reduced by up to 32 percent according to Web MD, inhibiting memory and cognition and increasing the affected teens moodiness (teachers and parents beware).

The causes vary, with some teens citing jobs, extracurriculars and social media as causes. However, most jobs get students home with plenty of time to sleep and school activities rarely go later than 9:30 p.m. The problem begins when students have these activities or jobs and four hours of homework.

Not only are students asked to give up sleep, they are asked to miss out on opportunities for physical fitness and sometimes even income because of the homework load they receive. A big decision many teens face today is the choice between a job or activity and schoolwork, a job in and of itself. Try to do both and sleep is sacrificed.

Are we really asking students to give up their only source of income or their only means of physical fitness to complete their homework before midnight? The idea is ludicrous, and it only adds to the bigger problem. It’s time for students to make their health a priority.

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