HUFFINGTON POST
11/12/2011 03:54 pm ET | Updated Jan 12, 2012

High School Pressure: Why Students Need Shorter Days

This is a teen-written article from our friends at Teenink.com.

Students have a limited amount of power in school, which is one of the main reasons for cutting classes. Students feel as though schools try to contain them and that they are not able to be themselves. They are forced to sit in a chair for a certain amount of time and to quietly complete assignments. The thought of this recurring activity results in students caring less about school, which eventually makes their grades decrease. By shortening the school days, students wouldn’t be as distressed about going to school and their grades would be higher. Fewer school hours per day would permit students to have enough time to study, complete school assignments, participate in after-school activities and be able to get to bed by a decent hour.

The school day is primarily seven hours long. Most of us have a wide range of after-school activities. Some participate in clubs while other have jobs or are on sports teams. Some participate in more than one after-school activity. By the time we are finished with the school day and their activities, there isn’t much time for them to complete homework assignments and study for exams. Instead, we result to quickly completing our homework and we do not receive any educational value from it. Also, we may not have time to study at all, which would result in failing grades.

Long school hours put much pressure on students. We may tend to slack off which could be harmful for their education in the long run. In classes now, the lesson usually doesn’t start until about ten minutes into the period, once the students have settled into their places. This is also because students feel that if they are late to class, the time would go by faster. If about ten minutes were cut from each class, the time would add up. The students would most likely go to their classes on time, because the class would overall be shorter and able for them to handle. A shorter day would leave more time for us to enjoy their lives and not have to rush through activities or assignments. We would be able to do everything at a slower and calmer pace rather than rushing. By cutting time out of the school day, the students’ education level would not be hurt. The students would be able to retain the same information whether it was taught within an hour or half an hour.

Many people could say that since work hours are long, that school hours should be long as well. This view is not necessarily true. We starts out in school and then work our way up to a steady job as we get older. Therefore, at one point everyone will be working long hours. Students should not have to work as long as some adults do. Also, some jobs do not require work to be done after work hours. We the students, on the other hand, have to continue working by completing their homework assignments.

A shorter school day can only be seen as a positive change. Both students, teachers and administrators would benefit from the change. Teachers would be able to have some free time and be able to educate students. The students would gain more time for fun while also having time to gain an excellent education.

- Rachel D., Brooklyn, NY

This piece has also been published in Teen Ink's monthly print magazine.