“Uh oh — I fell asleep and didn’t do my homework!”
“I’m a zombie, I didn’t sleep at all last night.”
“I can’t go out, I need to study.”
These are all phrases that my peers and I are all too familiar with, much to our dismay. In this day and age, education is more accessible than ever in developed countries, with the widespread of public schools and free online courses. But with more opportunities for learning comes more pressure and expectations to succeed. Whether these expectations are self-imposed or coming from outside sources like parents or peers, they can be a lot to handle. Students have been turning away from their daily 8 hours of sleep and leisure time after school to slave away at their homework and study for exams. When did school become so demanding?
Sleep or Studying?
While it is important to focus on academics and try your best in school, your sanity should come first. If you find yourself on the verge of ripping out your hair over a physics worksheet, maybe it’s time to step back and reconsider your priorities. You might be thinking, Oh no, I can’t not do my homework! My grade depends on it! But I’m not suggesting that you become a slacker and give up on completing your nightly assignments. Most of the time, students end up staying up all night not because they have an impossible amount of homework, but because they procrastinate and stretch out their assignments over several hours or put off doing important projects until the last minute. The topic of procrastination is one we’re all tired of hearing about, but it is so frequently brought up because it is truly the root of many of our problems.
A high school teacher and instructional coach, Chase Mielke, hit the nail on its head when he said, “You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be… The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a forgotten locker combination, to obnoxious peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away.” So why is school causing so much stress that students feel burnt out and unmotivated after being overworked? Where should the line between hard work and overworking be drawn? It’s different for everyone but if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and about to have a mental breakdown, take a breather and reassess what is actually important.
Maintain Your Sanity
If your work is really too much to handle, it’s okay to get the important assignments done and then rush the rest. Chances are that not all of your teachers check homework thoroughly, if at all, and that you can do just as well in those classes without killing yourself over the workload. Most of the time, it’s better to just sleep for the night instead of pull an allnighter trying to study. You’ll probably end up forgetting everything you studied anyway, make careless mistakes, and keep dozing off during your exam.
There are several options out there, some of which have already been covered by other TP writers like when you should drop a class or how to conquer burnout. Remember to take care of yourself, because your health comes first! Listen to some music on Spotify, drink some tea, and believe that you will get through it!