Opinion: Is it too much?


As the year is progressing, the work is piling up for students. For seniors, this is especially true.

I still remember going into my junior year like it was yesterday. Everyone kept telling me that it would be the hardest year, with the hardest classes, and at the time, I thought it was. It was the first year that I had taken any advanced courses and managing the work and a job was difficult. When summer finally came around I remember feeling relieved that the school year was over.

When I signed up for my senior year classes I decided to take a few courses at Frederick Community College and an internship at Middletown Sport and Spine because I figured it wouldn’t be that difficult. FCC only has classes twice a week and an internship sounded just like a free period.

But I was wrong.

As summer slowly started to come to an end I was pressured more and more into college applications and college visits and relatives just kept pushing college, college, college. Eventually I picked six colleges that I would apply to and started my applications. Soon enough the school year started.

The first day that I had to go to both of my FCC classes and my internship was overwhelming. When the last bell of the day rang I immediately had to leave the school to go to work. I worked until eight that night and didn’t get home until nine. As soon as I got home I had to start what felt like hours of homework.

This has become a weekly event to me. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have a full day of school, and then I go straight to work. I thought that it would calm down and I would get used to it, but the truth is it only got worse.

A full school day is almost seven hours. I wake up by five thirty in the morning to get ready so that I can leave my house by seven. When I have a full work and school day, I am out of my house for fourteen hours, and not once does it feel like I have time to catch my breath. Even on days that I don’t have a full day I spend hours doing all of my homework and managing my workload.

Finding time to do basic things like making lunch and eating dinner have also become challenges. When prioritizing what I have to do and seeing deadlines and events that are coming up, often times I overlook the ten minutes it would take to make a lunch just so I can try to get ahead on other things. When I go to work right after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I eliminate my chances at having dinner at a normal time. While the girls I coach have a thirty minute break to eat, I rarely do. When I do have that opportunity, I never have anything to eat because pre making a meal just takes more time.

To make matters worse, according to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital the average teenager needs between, “nine to nine and a half hours of sleep a night” but the average teenager only gets, “seven to seven and a half.” Personally, I average six hours a night. This wasn’t that bad in the beginning, but as the weeks trudge on I feel excessively tired and wake up later and later. Recently, I have developed the habit of sleeping for twelve to fourteen hours Saturday night. I don’t do this because I want to, I do this because my body feels like it’ll shut down if I don’t.

If I were to sleep for the recommended nine to nine and a half hours per night, I would have to go to bed at eight every night. Considering that I work until eight Monday, Tuesday and Thursday that wouldn’t be possible for me.

The hardest part of all of this is that most weeks I don’t even feel like I have time to do what I want to do. Things that I used to love, like editing videos or writing articles or reading a book, have started to feel like a chore. Hanging out with friends is always put to the side because I never feel like I have enough time. And while all of this is going on, people are constantly telling me that this is supposed to be the best four years of my life.

All of this raises the question of if it is all too much for teenagers to handle. We are expected to go to school, maintain a job, apply to college, apply for scholarships, sleep enough, eat enough, and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family. When breaking all of this down, it seems almost impossible to do.

Perhaps I should reevaluate my schedule and commitments, but how am I supposed to do that if all of these things are already expected of me. To go to school everyday I have to drive, and to drive I have to pay for gas, and to pay for gas I have to work. To get into college I have to be involved in my community and various honors societies. All of which take up time.

There is no real answer to if this is all too much for seniors and the reality is, things were like this for the graduating class above me and will continue for the ones below me too. Instead of proposing that all of this changes, I want to propose a different idea. Check up on your fellow seniors, ask them how they are doing, get to know them a little better, because if this really is supposed to be the best four years of our lives, and were all going through this together, then we may as well watch out for one another and make it all worth it.