Pressured students develop unhealthy habits


6:45 a.m. and I, half-awake, stumble to the bathroom after my pathetic four and a half hours of sleep. I look for my makeup remover in hopes of getting rid of the dark shades under my eyes.

Shortly later, I come to find that the shade under my eyes is not makeup, but it is a product of my sleeping habits, or lack thereof.

According to, adolescents need nine to nine and a half hours of sleep every night to function best. However, studies show that on average, teens get around 7 hours of sleep during the school year.

Students are pressured each year to take more difficult classes to challenge themselves so that they will have more success in the long run. However, challenging classes require longer hours outside of the classroom.

College classes in the high school setting are gruesome and demanding. For every credit hour a class offers, professors recommend that you spend three hours a week outside of the class studying and working on out of class work. For example, if students are taking a dual credit class that could potentially earn them three credit hours for college, they are expected to spend nine hours a week studying for that class at home.

Our school encourages us to be involved in sports and extracurricular activities, which also demand a big chunk of time. I do agree that being involved at your school is a great thing, but a student can only do so much. It seems like everyone is expected to be this amazing athlete with a 4.0 gpa and a job, but that just isn’t realistic.

Most students get home from school around 3 pm every day. In order to get the recommended nine hours of sleep, a student would have to go to bed at 9:30 pm to wake up at 6:30 the next morning. This means that from the time that students gets home, they have 6 and a half hours to do all they need to get done, just to wake up and do it all over again the next day.

If a student takes four AP classes and strives to get A’s in all of them, at least three hours a night is spent studying and doing out-of-class work.  This leaves three and a half hours for that student do other necessary things.

What if we threw a sport on top of all that homework? If students participate in sports, they don’t get home until at least 5:30 pm, sometimes later. In this case, the students would have four hours to get their homework and other various things done. If three hours is spent on homework, that leaves one hour for the students to eat dinner, shower, and spend time with their families.

If involved student athletes who acquire good grades wanted to get jobs, they would never have time to sleep. There is so much pressure placed upon the students in our school to be the best that we can be, but there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything we are expected to. If we stopped focusing so much on getting straight A’s while also being a Division 1 athlete and participating in every school club, students would be able to enjoy their time in high school while still getting a healthy amount of sleep.