There are varying research results when it comes to whether or not teachers should overwork their students. In some cases, two hours’ worth of homework and reading assignments will inculcate in the students the importance of school. There are also studies that said that homework, assignments, and take-home projects result in stress and unproductiveness. The research is inconclusive, but one thing is for sure: for some reason, the amount of homework that students have to do remains roughly the same as decades ago.
So, how are students feeling about it? In almost all studies made on the impact of heavy schoolwork on students, they all have the same reactions. Over 50% of students feel stress because of the amount of work they have to do for school. More than 25% said that their biggest source of stress is schoolwork while the majority of students spend most of their study time stressed and anxious.
Understandably, there is not a need for students to take on tougher classes in school. The competition has never been this steep in terms of entering the colleges and universities of their choice. In fact, many students choose IB schools, in particular, to prepare themselves for what should be a tougher life in college. They are well aware that the courses and activities they take in high school will spell success or doom once they start applying for college.
Create a Routine
You will be hard-pressed to find an article about coping with the heavy workload without mentioning the importance of routines. How can you make one? You need to list down what you should be doing every day. For example, Monday is for soccer practice and Friday is for socialization.
You need time for academics, too, as well as other extracurricular activities you are involved in. By creating a routine, you know exactly where you are at any given time. You also have a pretty good idea of what you can accomplish in a certain period.
Break Tasks Into Small Chunks
It is overwhelming to look at a big task and know that you have to tackle it right now. But what if you’re already done with half of that task and you only have to muscle through the other half? That’s what happens when you break tasks into small chunks. You can finish them easier and faster when you chip away at the stone from time to time.
If you have an exam on Saturday, why not read a couple of chapters every night until on Friday night when you dive into your readings? Knowing that you’ve done quite a lot will help you prepare for an all-nighter on Friday. Or, you might not even have to do an all-nighter since you’ve done a lot during the rest of the week.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You need to recognize when you’re way over your head. Ask your parents if they can let you off the hook from your duties in the house. If you’re always the one who needs to wash the dishes after dinner, ask your parents for reinforcement.
Sometimes, though, your parents cannot give you the help you need. You might need to hire a tutor. Don’t be embarrassed to look for one. Tutors will know exactly how to help you get ready for your exams. They can put your mind at ease, and make you feel more confident.
Find a Place
A key part of attending to a heavy workload is having the place to do all the work. You have to be as productive as possible when you work. That means finding a quiet place where to read and attend to your tasks. You cannot waste a minute of your time trying to understand a sentence in the book because there’s too much distraction around you. If your dorm or apartment is too noisy, go to the library. If your siblings are too noisy at home, find a coworking space or a quiet corner in a café.
Take a Break
Know when it is time to take a break. Sometimes, people tend to force themselves to do a task when they have nothing to give anymore. You will end up wasting your time trying to read through a book you wouldn’t even remember tomorrow. When you are tired, rest. When there’s nothing more left in you after a grueling day at school, take a break. Breathe. Rest. Then, go back to attending to your schoolwork. You will feel much refreshed.
Managing a heavy workload at school can be challenging, especially because students have to deal with a lot more—peers, families, and personal relationships. But for them to be successful today and in the future, they need to work on themselves. That involves knowing how to create a routine, sticking to it, and knowing how to give themselves a break.