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Does Homework Affect Our Mental Health?

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Does Homework Affect Our Mental Health?

Junior Emma studies for a test after a long night of practice and homework.

Junior Emma studies for a test after a long night of practice and homework.

Meg McCall

Junior Emma studies for a test after a long night of practice and homework.

Meg McCall

Meg McCall

Junior Emma studies for a test after a long night of practice and homework.

Megan McCall, Writer

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As a Loyola Academy junior, I am no stranger to cramming for tests, finishing homework two minutes before class starts, and staying up late stressing about everything I need to do. But, I’ve never stood back and thought, “Is all this homework affecting my mental health?”

At Loyola, joining clubs, sports and extracurricular activities is encouraged and promoted. After being at school eight hours, going to practice, commuting home, then doing homework, there is barely enough time to relax or even spend time with family. Without time to de-stress after having a long day, anxiety and emotions build up and up.

According to the Mayo Clinic, too much stress can cause social withdrawal, angry outbursts, drug and alcohol abuse and so much more. I asked one of my classmates, Adeline Dunbar, if she thought homework was the main source of her stress. She replied, “Without so much homework I would be a different person, I would have time to be with my friends, focus on things other than school and actually sit down and relax.”

Teachers have extremely high expectations of students, and although that may not always be a bad thing, sometimes teacher assume we have more time than we actually do. I asked 40 students, among all four grades, how much time they spend a night doing homework and studying.

Out of all those students, more than 60% said they spend more than two hours a night doing homework. Usually, study time is spent late at night, (after school, extracurriculars, dinner etc.) which are made for sleep.

The recommended amount of sleep for teenagers is 9-10 hours each night, but the average amount that teens get is seven hours. This lack of sleep causes problems with attention, memory, decision making and the overall cognitive abilities. Students with more sleep are proven to have less stress, anxiety and depression and also have higher tests scores. If students spend hours upon doing homework and studying late into the night, they are lessening their chances of doing well by losing sleep.

In conclusion, homework may have perks, but too much of it is not good for the well-being of students. Maintaining everything in our daily lives can be difficult, but when it comes to our mental health, it should always be put first.

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