Homework. Does this word trigger you? It reminded me of all the hours I spent on schoolwork as a kid, taking different lessons outside school. The same goes for my college years, all the sleepless nights completing my assignments and wondering if this degree was really worth it? It felt like I spent half of my life doing educational assignments and not actually enjoying my life. Have you ever wondered how many hours of your life are taken by your assignments? Research by Challenge Success found that high school students spend about 3 hours per day, meaning about 21 hours per week on homework. This number is obviously higher for college students. An article by Medium reported that college students might spend about 40 hours or more per week on assignments. These number doesn’t include the hours spent in class. So we will see how many hours do students spend on homework in this article
A mental and physical war with homework
There’s always this stigma that the more students spend time on their homework, the more productive they are and the more intelligent they’ll get. But did you know that most students reported feeling stressed due to (yes, you guessed it) homework?
Stanford News reported that “many students struggle to balance homework, extracurricular activities, and social time. Many students felt forced or obligated to choose homework over developing other talents or skills.”
Studies on the effect of homework on high schoolers have shown that the stress due to homework leads to multiple mental and physical health problems like anxiety, fatigue, headache, and stomach ache. This is especially bad for college students who have to balance their college life and work-life simultaneously. No wonder so many young people globally struggle with mental illnesses.
How many hours should we spend on homework?
There are no definite answers to this. Some students feel fine after five hours of homework, and some feel overwhelmed after about three hours of homework. Although, it seems like the average student’s hours on their task are already more than enough. A study in 2015 by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students in the early elementary school years are getting more homework than is recommended. In some cases, nearly three times as much homework as is recommended.
They recommended the “10 minutes per grade level per night” rule as a solution. So, starting from 10 minutes, as the grade increases, 10 minutes are added. Basically, first graders will spend 10 minutes on homework per night, second graders spend 20 minutes, third graders spend 30 minutes, and so on.
Tips on managing school workload
Now that you know the harmful effects of over-studying and how ineffective it is, here are tips on how to deal with school workload!
- Plan ahead
Try getting used to journaling. This will help you keep track of upcoming assignments and keep you on track. Prioritize your tasks that have closer deadlines, don’t procrastinate! Finish your assignments as soon as possible to prevent the hassle of doing everything last minute (we’re all guilty of this).
- Know your limits
Students are somewhat like superhumans. You may have a mental breakdown and not have a wink of sleep but still manage to function well and act like everything’s okay the next day. But since you are not real superhumans, you have to know your limits. This is especially for college students who take part-time jobs. Try finding part-time jobs that only require you to work about 20 hours a week and have flexible work hours. I know earning money is more exciting, but prioritize completing your studies!
- Study groups
Studying alone all the time can be isolating. Invite your closest friends to study together! Not only can you help each other out, but you can also have a nice fun chat in between studying. This will make studying fun and less stressful.
- Take breaks and have fun!
Repeat after me, “I deserve a good break.” Overworking is not sexy. For your mental and physical health, take a break when you need to! Watch a movie, hang out with your friends, or even take a fat nap. You will be even more productive if your mind is clear, happy, and well-rested.
More isn’t always good. Adding the extra hours for homework can also mean adding extra stress. Like the saying “you live only once,” you don’t wanna regret not living your life to the fullest as a teenager. Studying and excelling academically is cool, but it’s even cooler also to have plenty of fun memories and experiences with your friends and family. To maintain a work-life balance, know your limits, and manage your time effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is homework necessary?
Yes. Homework can help you practice the knowledge you got in school.
- Which country gives the least homework?
Finland. They are said even to have short school days!