Category Archives: Emotions

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

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

I’m super excited for the rest of this month. 🙂 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. 😉

Until next time,

~ Rina Raj

 

 

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An Open Letter to Haley

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

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

10 Lessons I Learned My Freshman Year

summer adventures here I comeHey guys,

ARE YOU JUST AS PUMPED AS I AM FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR TO BE OVER?! 🙂

Well, a few days ago, I finished my freshman year in high school and I’ve been reflecting on some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the year. I wanted to share these with you.

Here are ten lessons I’ve learned throughout this school year.

#1: It’s not as easy as it seemseasy

A lot of students (myself included) are under the impression that freshman year is going to be the easiest thing ever.

Lol, nope!

I jumped straight into taking all honors and an AP class, with my mind set on the fact that it wouldn’t be as hard as middle school.

It was challenging. It really was.

I’ve never had a C before in any of my classes, but this year I did. I was a bit upset with myself at first but, I learned a lot about why it happened.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from taking all honors or AP classes during their freshman year at all. But I will share that you will need to up your game.

You should always give every project, every assignment and every test everything you’ve got. Be prepared to work harder!  Meet with teachers before or after school, get extra help if needed, form study groups with students, take extra time to study, look at different resources.  Prepare yourself to work harder and you will succeed!

become a teacher they said itll be fun they said#2: Teachers deserve a TON of credit

Students in general often look at their teachers as being annoying, or mean, and I admit to being one of those students for much of the school year.

We DON’T often notice that our teachers have to plan the lessons out and grade all the homework, tests and projects while dealing with hundreds of students (who can be thoroughly disrespectful at times) all while being under paid.

Yes, I said it. Teachers are underpaid and they deal with a lot on a daily basis.

Students may have some relaxation time at home, but teachers bring work home to grade. They’re at school early to help their students, and they stay after school to help their students as well. We just don’t give them enough credit. Remember that whenever you blame a teacher for not teaching, or explaining a topic sufficiently, they are not the only problem. Ask your teacher questions, and you may be very surprised. Teachers are there to help you, not destroy you. 😉

#3: Don’t give upthe mystery of edwin drood

Our Town. Into the Woods. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Three shows, three auditions, and I didn’t get into any of these shows.

What does this mean?

I know a lot of people who would be devastated by that, by not making it into one show. But I also know a lot of people who wouldn’t be discouraged by it, either. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t upset when I didn’t get into the first show, and that I wasn’t equally as upset when I didn’t get into the second. Or the third.

However, after not getting a part in Our Town or in Into the Woods, I started to tell myself that it was okay. There would be other shows, there would be other opportunities to audition, and one day It’d be my turn to shine.

And so, when I auditioned for The Mystery of Edwin Drood this past week and didn’t get a part, I congratulated everyone who got a role and reflected on what I could’ve done better during my audition to improve myself.

The moral of the story – learn what you can do to improve and don’t ever give up. Sometimes, it’s just not the right timing. But when the time is right, it will happen. Just keep going and don’t give up!

push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you#4: If you think you’re pushing yourself hard enough, push harder!

I’m guilty of not pushing myself hard enough this year. Yes, I took vigorous courses this past school year, but I didn’t do any extra credit or do anything more than what was actually assigned. If it wasn’t required, I didn’t feel I needed to.

Extra credit isn’t something I HAD to do to in order to pass a class. But it’s something I should’ve done anyway.

Because in the midst of all the A’s on worksheets and quizzes, an F on one test could bring that grade down to a C in a heartbeat. And that extra credit, well, it would’ve helped. In high school, every point helps. So if you have an opportunity to earn free points, do it. It won’t ever hurt to have extra points.

#5: Friends will come, and friends will gopeople come into your life for a reason a season or a lifetime

For over three years, I had one of the best friendships I’ve ever experienced. I’d never had a best friend until sixth grade, and when our friendship lasted throughout middle school, I thought it would last forever.

But just like in middle school, high school is about discovering yourself, and finding out who you are. When my best friend “found” herself, she was a completely different person. We didn’t have much in common anymore. Recently, she chose to end our friendship.

It’s okay to grow into different people. Friendships do not necessarily need to come to an end. Sometimes being “different” will make a friendship grow stronger. Other times, it doesn’t quite work out that way.

dont let people bring you down focus on those who love you forget the ones who don'tI do miss her a ton, and I have so many wonderful memories with her that I’ll always cherish. But I’m learning slowly that as new people come into my life, others have to leave it.

#6: Focus on the people who matter

The people that care about you are the people you should focus your attention on, because those are the ones IMG_4162that truly matter. The ones who uplift you, the ones that are always there for you. If someone doesn’t care about you, don’t put your energy or time into them. Focus on the people who do care, for those are the ones who will bring value into your life.

#7: Embrace change

Again, high school is a time of self discovery. We learn more and more about who we are as a person. 

you may think you know someone so well but people change and they're always more than what you think about themYour friends might start to hang out with different people, and find themselves discovering different interests. They may start to dress differently, listen to different music, until they’ve become a completely different person. And that’s okay.

Change is okay. It’s healthy, and a natural part of life. Embrace it, learn from it and use it to your advantage. Change isn’t something to be afraid of. Change helps you to learn more about yourself and who you are as a person.

stand up for yourself#8: Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself

One of my friends has been getting picked on a majority of the school year, and she chose to not say anything about it to the teacher.

However, during a class when we had a substitute teacher, the kids picking on her took it a bit too far. She ended up with a lollipop stuck in her hair and tears running down her cheeks. Another friend and I decided enough was enough. After escorting our friend to see a guidance counselor, we gave the substitute teacher a detailed description of what had happened.

The kids never bothered her again.

If you’re someone that’s been getting bullied, speak up and say something. I cannot stress enough how important it is to stand up for yourself. It will continue until you put a stop to it. So be courageous and stand up for yourself!

#9: Be present and enjoy every momentnot everything lasts forever but enjoy it while it lasts

While I’m excited for this school year to be over, I’m also in disbelief that my freshman year is over. I only have three more years left in high school. While that may be a good thing, I can’t help but think of how sad it’ll be when high school is officially over in a few years.

I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not trying my best to enjoy my freshman year to the fullest. I know now (*singing*AND I KNOW THINGS NOW, MANY VALUABLE THINGS…) how important it is to be present during these next few years of high school. I will be more mindful, and I will enjoy every moment of my high school days.

When high school is over, it’s over.  You can’t turn the clock back. All you will have left are the TONS of memories that you’ve created which will hopefully give you something to always smile about. That’s a gift.

#10: Watch out in the parking lot!

No joke.

Upperclassmen can be CA-RA-ZY drivers. 😛

watch out sophomore year, here we comeAll in all, freshman year was a good one, and I definitely learned a lot about my teachers, my friends and myself.

Sophomore year, here I come! 🙂

Now that this school year is over, or is coming to an end, what are some lessons you have learned throughout this school year? Comment below and let’s discuss! I look forward to reading about it!

Until next time!

~Rina Raj