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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

 

2016 Came to Town, Riding on a Pony ;)

hiding behind curtainMe: *peeks out from behind curtain* “Hey guys!” *awkward smile*

Audience Member: *glares* “You missed 3 weeks!” *whispers* “Plus a day!” *throws tomato*

 

HI GUYS!

Merry belated Christmas!!! ūüôā¬†merry xmas.jpgI know, I know, it’s been three weeks. I missed three weeks!¬†But I feel bad and I’m sorry. I know, excuses are lame¬†but hear me out.

Or… read me out? *shakes head* I don’t know what I just did.

Anyway…

i can't remember anything.jpgIf you’re in high school, or even in middle school, you can understand the stress that comes with exams. And in my case, it was exams¬†and an audition.

I was uber stressed out and had no room in my overflowing brain for a blog post, nor did I really have the motivation or time to write even half a post.I'm sorry.jpg

So I’m sorry, and I hope this¬†blog post will compensate¬†for the past three weeks. Before I get into this post however, let me remind you of a very important fact…

2016 is in 2 days.

Let that sink in.

2016 is in 2 days!

Let’s be real, are most of us even ready for this? Did we fulfill everything we planned since¬†January, when we came up with our 2015 resolutions? (Seriously, where has the time gone?)

It’s unreal how quickly¬†this year has gone by, leaving nothing in its path¬†except for uncompleted resolutions. Personally, I feel as though I’ve accomplished nothing this year.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Nothing.

However, when I went back to review and looked at my 2015 resolutions, I realized I actually accomplished a lot. My list consisted of only 5 things.

  1. Audition at least 3 times.
  2. Write 5 good songs.
  3. Write a book.
  4. Be more caring and responsible.
  5. Be a better daughter.

audition for all the shows.jpgNumber 1 (auditioning) was something I was scared of doing, but I did it. I faced that fear.

Number 2 (writing songs) was something I didn’t see happening when I initially wrote this down. But¬†guess what? I didn’t write 5 good songs. I wrote¬†13 amazing songs!

Number 3 (write a book) was something I could’ve accomplished, but didn’t. Instead, I fished for ideas day in and day out. I started one storyline, deleted it and switched to another. Finally over the summer, I came up with the best storyline yet and presently¬†I’m working on chapter 6. So no, I didn’t finish a book, but at least I started it!

Number 4 (be more caring and responsible)… I’d like to say that I have been all that number 4 asked of me this entire¬†year, but I’m trying to be an honest person. I’ve definitely made tons of effort to be caring towards my younger sister, but as a newfound middle schooler, she finds my attempts annoying and they most always end in a disagreement of some sort.

(Whatever… she’s annoying too) ūüėČ

Responsibility is something I’ve tampered with. I’ve been responsible when asked to help¬†my sister, I’ve taken on the task of making dinner numerous¬†times, I’ve been trusted with using my electronic devices at¬†school (per mom’s designated times and rules). I wouldn’t say it’s been this way the whole year though. Therefore I consider number 4 incomplete. But I’m working on it.

Number 5 (be a better daughter) is something difficult to explain. I’d rate¬†myself a 50% on this one. While many people have told me otherwise, I personally feel as though I could strive to be a better daughter. So the journey continues with number 5.

I may have only checked off two items on my list with satisfaction, but those resolutions aren’t the only verdict of how my 2015 went.

survived first semester.jpgJust because I didn’t do everything on that list doesn’t mean I didn’t do other stuff.

I started a blog, for one, and it’s been a pretty amazing experience so far!

I started high school, and I’m¬†surviving it! And…

I’ve become¬†stronger!

As a teen, I’m learning to love myself and to define healthy boundaries. I’m learning to take better care of myself and to put myself first in regards to my personal needs, goals and dreams.

So now, I’m feeling inspired¬†and striving to create achievable¬†resolutions for 2016. My list consists of the following:new years resolutions.jpg

  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 (what did I just do).
  9. Take care of my body (eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest).
  10. Stay strong.

Make sure you hold me to number 8… ūüėČ

Now it’s your turn. What are your resolutions for the new year?¬†Comment below and share some of the things you’d like to accomplish. I would love to hear all about it!

happy new year 2016.jpgHappy New Year everyone! ūüôā

Until 2016,

~Rina Raj