How Homework Can Be Detrimental to Students’ Mental Health

Emma M Garcia-Warner, Staff Writer

Students’ mental health. It’s important to understand that mental health in teens can be affected a great amount by school. Going to school, homework, and studying all take away from the time we—as teens—have to ourselves.

So why should we care about students’ mental health and the time they have to themselves? 

It’s because students have so much to do that we should care. We go to school for 7 hours a day, then when we finally get home, we have homework. Usually doing homework, to your absolute best ability, takes about an hour. So, maybe you’re done at 4:30 and go to bed at 10. That’s 5 and a half hours. None of that includes showers, food, chores, and family time. Along the line of schedules, most students partake in a sport or club after school. The average time a student finishes their activity is about 4:45, so maybe they get home and finish their homework at 5:30. So they have 4 and a half hours to do whatever they please. That doesn’t include basics like spending time with family, cleaning up, dinner, if they have a job, and self-care.  

Students have a lot on their plate. They also are expected to be social and have a “good night’s rest.” But all the expectations and work we must do really piles up. It can make us feel anxious and overwhelmed. Then after so much time of feeling this, we shut down. It can get even worse because of work we might have missed.  

Being a student, I have been through this. I just started freshman year and it’s hard coming in from middle school. Middle school doesn’t teach you everything you want to, or need to, know about high school. It doesn’t teach you that your teachers will do certain things to remind you about an upcoming assignment—no hate to teachers, they shouldn’t chase you for missing work—but middle school teachers do much more. And while that’s helpful, it doesn’t prepare us.  

Students aren’t to blame for being sad or anxious or overall burnt out. We have lots on our plate and while the social aspect of school can help, homework and such, does not. Be kind to students, they have a lot going on.