The weekly cycle is always the same. Monday to Friday, you trek on through the seemingly endless desert, where homework assignments are plenty and free time is but a distant dream. On Monday, there is nothing but hot sun and dry ground. By Tuesday, you have somewhat adjusted to the harsh conditions – but survival prospects aren’t looking any brighter. On Wednesday, you catch a glimpse of something on the horizon – just a faint sparkle of hope, there and gone, but hope nonetheless. By Thursday, it’s clear that you’re approaching an oasis. With this knowledge, you start to walk with a glint in your eye and a spring in your step. When Friday arrives, paradise is just out of your reach. Filled with vigor, you start to run, diving straight into –
That’s right, fellow students – the weekend is nothing but a mirage. It is a cruel truth to accept, but we must accept it nonetheless. Our wishes each week that the weekend will be as fabulously, fantastically free as we anticipate it to be are – sadly – wishes that we make in vain. It is always the same three words that turn our hopes to dust and our dreams to ashes – “due on Monday.”
Fellow students, I say it’s time we take a stand. Below, I have listed 5 reasons why homework should not be assigned on the weekend – 5 reasons why we deserve an oasis after our week-long trek through the desert.
1. We need to catch up. No, not on homework assignments – on everything but that. We need to catch up with ourselves, catch up with our friends, catch up on sleep, catch up on our weekly quota of cat videos – we just need to catch up. With six pages of math problems and three essays to complete, it’s pretty hard to do that.
2. We need to get some exercise. This generation is one of the most physically inactive generations in history, but it’s not because we’re lazy. It’s because we’re too busy having mental workouts to go and have a real workout! (Well, at least to go outside and enjoy the sun.) Most of us spend seven hours a day sitting in a desk, then go home and spend another two or three hours sitting in a different desk! For the sake of our health, would it be too much to ask to have the chance to spend some time outdoors during the weekend?
3. We need to spend some time with our families. Don’t you and I know it – Churchillians are pretty busy people. Some of us leave the house at 7:00 in the morning to make it in time for basketball practice, trudge our way through an entire day of school, scurry off to piano lessons, drag ourselves to soccer training, then burst through the doors at 8:00 at night only to . . . do our homework. When our parents are hounding us to wash the dishes and sweep the floors and take out the trash, I’m sure we’ve all pulled out the exceptionally convenient “Look, I’m busy” card from our back pockets, but deep down, it’s pretty hard to deny that parents are busy people too. Our jam-packed schedules make it almost impossible to even think about spending quality time together, and homework-filled weekends aren’t making matters any easier.
4. Too much homework is bad for your health – and it’s scientifically proven! Last year, a group of Stanford researchers studied 4317 students from ten high schools in Californian communities, and found that students who did more homework typically experienced more stress and physical health problems than other members of the population. According to the study, the students in these schools complete an average of over three hours of homework every night – weekends included – and the majority complained of headaches, stomach problems, sleep deprivation, exhaustion and weight loss. School is supposed to sharpen our minds, but how can we possibly be at our best if our bodies are paying the price?
5. There’s more to life than school. That’s right, fellow students, you read that correctly. In spite of what your grandfather may tell you, there’s actually more to life than factoring that polynomial expression. Science has proven this too. There are places to visit and people to meet, sports to play and clubs to join, opportunities to teach to others, to volunteer, to discover your passions and pursue your dreams, and simply to have one heck of a good time. A great big world exists beyond the classroom, and it is both the duty of our teachers and of ourselves to ensure that we have the greatest possible chance of embracing it.
Here’s to a homework-free weekend!
– Sarah W.