All posts by Rina Raj

When You Finally Finish Your HW at 3am… :/

hello-marchHi guys! It’s already March, can you believe it?¬†ūüôā

I’m super excited for the rest of this month. ūüôā My grades are good, I¬†just turned 16 (AHHH), and I’m making progress with my book!

All in all, 2017 is going good as of yet.

However, the new year has had great fun in kicking my butt with insane allergies, rehearsals (not that I’m complaining), class selections for next year (YIKES) and sendingbrian one of my closest friends to Canada for 2 years… *cries*

Oh, and lots and lots of HOMEWORK! -_-

Homework has never been something I’ve deemed necessary to complain about (and definitely not anything I thought I’d ever write a blog post about), but since the school year started, I’ve found myself being very stressed about my assignments. And because I am determined to have good grades all year, I’ve been losing a lot of sleep and personal time over it.

I knew that it couldn’t be just me that was experiencing¬†this, and so I decided to reach out to other high school students and see how they felt about homework. I created a survey and received responses from 50 high school students, the majority of which attends my high school.

Some stats that I gathered from the survey results are:

  • The majority (62%) of students go to sleep either 11p.m. or later on school nights.
  • The majority (56%) of students get up at 6am on school days.
  • The majority (48%) of students spend 3-4 hours on homework¬†each night.
  • The majority (68%) of students receive 3-4 homework assignments every day.
  • The majority (62%) of students have 2-3 days to turn their assignments in.
  • The majority (60%) of students say they enjoy homework depending on the class subject. The other 40% said they do not enjoy homework at all.

just-me-when-i-finally-finish-my-hw-at-three-amNow, looking at the stats and keeping in mind that there is¬†only 24 hours in a day, we can infer what a typical high schooler’s day is like.

The day would start at about 6am, which is almost an hour and a half before school starts (in my case, it starts at 7:20am). The school day would then commence for the next 7 hours (in my case, school ends at 2:20pm).

If we assume that the majority of high school students participate in some sort of extracurricular activity, tacking on another two hours after school to compensate, then the average high schooler would get home around 5pm.

Following the stats I gathered, the average high schooler spends anywhere from 3-4 hours on homework per¬†night. ¬†Assuming they start their homework as soon as they get home, they’d be finished¬†with their homework around 9pm. As relayed in the stats above, the average bedtime is 11pm, which leaves about 2 hours¬†in the day for eating, showering, chores, etc., and provides¬†7 hours of sleep before they’d have to get up for the next day.

High school students are not exaggerating when they say the majority of time is taken up by education!

I asked a few of the students that responded to my survey if they had any additional thoughts on homework, and these were some of the responses:

“The first day of school, I got 5 hours of homework and I thought it was ridiculous. Also, please tell teachers¬†not to plan PROJECTS during¬†exam week. Also, please don’t give us homework on our exam week because we need to study!!!! Also, don’t give us homework over breaks. That’s why they call it a break. Lastly, LESS HOMEWORK ON THE WEEKEND. One more thing, since I have 5-6 hours of homework a night, and I go to bed at 10, that leaves me with 1 hour to relax when I get home and 1 hour to shower. And that’s it! I have to cram in dinner everyday WHILE I’m doing homework. Ok I’m done.”

“I understand its importance in school, and students need to play a huge part in lessening the too-much-hw-too-little-timecomplaint and the culture of hate against it. However, the work is indeed growing in intensity, and not for the best benefit of the student. It is important for everyone to keep in mind things are best in moderation if they are intended to be good at all.”

“Mostly a waste of time.”

“It is a waste of time that you could use to do be¬†productive.”

“It stresses me out and doesn’t help when teachers assign extra homework that is unnecessary. If I need help with something, doing it wrong multiple times later at night isn’t going to help on tests or in the long run.”

“A lot of homework is unnecessary and provides more stress than it does to help the student understand the material, especially when a student doesn’t understand the work assigned.”

“Homework helps, only if I understand the topic. If I don’t understand the topic, it’s very complicated and boring. This usually means that I’ll have to look up a video on that topic so I could understand it.”

homework-what-are-you-doing“We shouldn’t have it. It sucks.”

“It’s ok but I feel like it’s so much!”

“Why, unless it’s unfinished class work?”

“I hate it. It stresses me out.”

“Although I don’t receive much homework this year, in my past three years of high school I have spent countless nights stressing over it or just giving up on it all together which in turn, made me fail a lot of my classes even though I did well in the class.”

“It’s not fun.”

“Teachers should give a more manageable amount of homework.”

“I find it useless, sometimes my teacher only does notes and relies on me to practically learn it myself just to do a homework assignment.”

In my opinion, homework isn’t entirely a bad thing. In fact, I find myself learning from it every day. However, I also find myself having little to no time to relax and focus on myself, my health and my relationships with others.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have homework at all. I’m saying there needs to be a balance.

Based on the way many high school students view homework, I think a way to solve the problem would be to lessen the amount of homework each student is given per night. Homework should be no more than two hours per night. And to make sure students enjoy the process of homework, teachers might want to be more creative when assigning homework. For example, I personally despise reading and taking notes out of a textbook, but I absolutely love foldables and educational competitions like Jeopardy.

When learning and homework can be described as fun and interesting, it’s not all that¬†bad.

How much of your time is dedicated to homework each night? Do you think teachers should give less homework? And if so, how can we make that happen?

Share in the comments below and let’s discuss! Parents, you’re welcome to join in too. ūüėČ

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj

 

 

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If 2016 Wasn’t Meant to be, Maybe 2017 is! :)

Hey guys! Happy New Year!2017 Concept Clipped Cards and Lights

This post is something I’d intended to write and post by December 31st of 2016, but it just wasn’t meant to be. So, this post is going out a little later than I would’ve liked.

Can we all just pause for a minute and think about how quickly 2016 went by?

Yeah… it went by¬†that fast.

When December 1st came around, I immediately pulled out my 2016 resolutions to see what I’d accomplished.

  1. Finish the book
  2. Learn guitar (play at least two songs)
  3. Strive for all A’s and B’s by the end of the school year
  4. Audition for at least 3 things
  5. Have more self confidence
  6. Remember to smile
  7. Be more responsible
  8. Never miss a blog post
  9. Take care of my body (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest)
  10. Stay strong

meant-to-beI realized I’ve accomplished very little¬†this year. Sure, I auditioned for over three things, I was more confident in myself, I smiled more than I did in 2015, and I assumed tons of responsibility as a student and as a daughter. But I didn’t finish the book I’m writing, I only learned half of each song on guitar, the one C on my report card doesn’t cope with number 3, I missed 99% of the blog posts I was supposed to write, I completely ignored number 9, and I let myself crack instead of keeping a strong mind and heart.

Upon discovering this, I was sooooo upset with myself. So upset, in fact, that I didn’t want to write new goals for 2017 because I was stuck in the mindset of “Well, what’s the point? I won’t do it anyway.”
Not achieving my goals for 2016 got me thinking… maybe completing the things I wanted to complete just wasn’t meant to be.

Life isn’t something you can always plan precisely. Sure, you can¬†try, but life will sometimes take you down a different road based on what needs to happen and when it needs to happen. Sometimes it’s beyond our control.¬†fullsizerender-4

After realizing this, I ceased the thoughts on what had gone wrong the past year and started to think about all the things that went right.

Finishing the book wasn’t meant to be, but reading a book almost every week was.

Learning to play 2 songs on guitar wasn’t meant to be, but writing 5 sets of incredible lyrics was.

Having all A’s and B’s wasn’t meant to be, but passing my first AP class was.

fullsizerender-5Being part of set crew for my school’s production of¬†The Mystery of Edwin Drood,¬†singing my first solo in choir, performing in the talent show, making new friends, spending time with old friends, seeing snow for the first time, getting cast as a fairy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; all of these happened and¬†were meant to be! ūüôā

Let’s not start¬†2017 trying to beat ourselves up for not achieving the goals we’d set for 2016. Let’s spend 2017 at peace with what wasn’t meant to be in 2016, and strive for what¬†is¬†meant to be this year. By taking pleasure in the present and doing the best we can do.

  1. Be more positivewhat-you-want-and-what-you-need
  2. Take care of myself (physically and mentally)
  3. Practice what I preach
  4. Have better time management
  5. Be a better friend
  6. Be self confident always
  7. Have better focus
  8. Communicate my feelings
  9. Finish my book
  10. Motivate myself to do my best

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj

 

An Open Letter to Haley

hello-decemberHi guys, happy December! Get ready for excessive Christmas carols, tons of hot cocoa and random mistletoe! ūüôā

If you’re wondering why I’ve been MIA again, let me just share that I’ve been working behind the scenes on my first ever musical with school, performing in Disney’s Candlelight Processional, becoming very familiar with two of Shakespeare’s plays and doing lots and lots and lots of – you guessed it! Homework!

Perhaps I’ll share more on that in another post. In the meantime…candlelight

This post is something I’ve been wanting¬†to write for quite some time. This past May, my best friend (we’ll call her Haley) decided to¬†end our friendship.

Haley and I had been best friends since 6th grade and she easily became a part of my family. Middle school was a rocky road and though we had many disagreements, we always managed to come back stronger and become even more inseparable during our friendship.

high-school-is-the-time-to-find-yourselfLast school year, she and I both¬†underwent many changes. Both of our personalities, views and morals changed significantly and we found ourselves disagreeing on many things in life. We each “found ourselves” and while I didn’t see the change in myself during those times, I did see that Haley was a completely different person.

She was more positive, uplifting and spiritual. She knew how to recover from hard times quickly and she didn’t let negative things drag her down for more than a day, something that I am only learning how to do now.

During the last several months of our friendship, we began to grow apart. And while I understood that we were becoming different people, I didn’t understand what was happening when Haley stopped talking to me.

sos my fave person disappeared.pngThere was no warning. One day we were fine talking about everything under the sun and the next day she wouldn’t speak to me nor look at me.

As the days continued just like that, I was confused. And so, I tried calling her a number of times. After not receiving any responses, I settled on sending her an email explaining to her how confused I was and how much this was affecting me emotionally.

She finally replied, but her response didn’t help to ease my pain at all. She put everything on me, and basically said I had been a bad friend to her. According to her, I complained too much and she didn’t need my negative energy in her life.

Ever since I received her response, I’ve pondered over what I could’ve possibly done wrong and I’ve become paranoid about venting to much of my current friends in fear of “complaining too much”.

letting-go-does-not-mean-giving-upAll in all, I’ve let this affect me way longer than just one day. I told myself that it was okay to cry over this and that it was okay to feel sad because I’d lost someone that had been a huge part of my life for three and a half years. After watching myself grow sad on a daily basis this past month and losing motivation to do anything productive, I decided that letting go of Haley is past due.

The time has come. And the time is now.

And so, I’ve decided that today will be the¬†last time I’ll vent about Haley and feel sad about the situation. From now on, everything involving Haley will be viewed as a happy memory, because I have allowed myself to¬†be consumed by this and it’s time that I go back to being¬†the strong girl I’ve known myself to be.

My open letter to Haley.

Hey Haley, 

I hope life is going well and that sophomore year has been good to you so far. I’ve been alright, but I haven’t been the same since we stopped talking. I didn’t have the closure that I needed to get through losing such an important person¬†in my life.¬†

Sometimes, I still feel like everything was my fault even though I know it really isn’t, because it takes two to create a friendship, maintain a friendship and even break¬†a friendship.

I’ve thought about it, whether or not I was a good friend to you. I listened to you. I kept your secrets. I let you vent to me whenever you needed to. I helped build you up and reminded you to be confident. Not once have I ever tried to tear you down. I let you become a part of my family. I allowed you to cry on my shoulder. I was a column of support to you.

None of that screams “bad friend” in my opinion.¬†

If what I offered to you as a friend¬†was not enough for you, then that’s okay. I’m sorry that you felt our friendship needed to end,¬†and I apologize for the constant complaints throughout some difficult times of my life, but you were my best¬†friend, the closest person to me, and I thought that friends were there so you could vent to them, have them¬†to help you feel better, and not make you feel guilty for being sad from day to day.

take-chances-make-mistakesWe both have flaws, Haley. Neither one of us are perfect. Both of us had bad days.

We both complained.

We both vented.

We both made mistakes.

But that’s all a part of growing up. We¬†make mistakes so we¬†can grow from them, learn from them and move forward.

If I knew the reasons as to why you chose to stop talking¬†to me, perhaps¬†I could’ve learned something and grown from those reasons too.¬†

You walked out of my life so quickly and with no warning, like it was nothing. It didn’t seem to affect you in the slightest. It felt like I didn’t even matter to you.

But you mattered to me a lot. I’ve spent 7 months missing your friendship. 7 months wondering. 7 months afraid to get close to any other friends because I’m scared that they too will disappear with no warning.¬†

Even though I don’t know what my mistakes were, I’m so frightened that I’ll make the same ones.

7 months is 7 months too many, and I’ve decided that regardless of having no closure and not knowing what went wrong, I have to let you go.¬†

And so, I want to thank you.

Thank you for building me up when I needed you and being my support system even late at night. You were such a blessing to have in my life and I will always cherish the memories and the inside jokes that no one else will ever understand.

And even though it hurts so much to say this, thank you for showing me who my real friends are.

I hope you find what you’re looking for in life and that the people you surround yourself with are as positive as you wanted me to be.

positive-vibesI’m finding my positivity ever so slowly, and it all starts with letting you go.

I know it will all be okay.

Blessed be,

~ Rina Raj