It’s the first week of school and your teachers have already plunged you neck-deep in homework. Summer has disappeared in a flash, and all of a sudden you’re scrambling to make ends meet. Sound familiar?
“I find it particularly difficult because you have to adapt to a new sleep schedule. You’re not used to having to manage your time, and a lot of extracurriculars pick up in the beginning of the school year, too,” said Hannah Fink ’16.
Not only is it difficult to adjust, but some students find that their grades suffer as a result of time-management difficulty.
“When teachers assign homework in the beginning of the year, it always feels like way too much, and I don’t always perform to the best of my ability. But once I get into the swing of things, it’s not that hard to manage,” said Lexi Todorov ’17.
As difficult as starting the year may be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that teachers should lighten up on the homework load. Teachers have a specific curriculum to cover in a certain amount of time, so it makes sense for them to start the year rigorously.
“As much as I hate writing and studying, I don’t see why there shouldn’t be tests and essays in the beginning of the year,” said Fink.
In addition, the beginning of school is the prime time to make decisions on course levels.
“By setting expectations clearly in the beginning of the year, it helps students know whether the course is the right fit for them or not. My experience is that students often need those few weeks to see if they can manage their schedule,” said Ms. Jennifer Despo, a social studies teacher.
Even though it is stressful, diving into schoolwork in the beginning of the year is more effective than slowly sinking into it, both because of the smoother adjustment and the ability to make decisions on course levels.
The transition into the school year is always rough, and most students feel overwhelmed by the sudden rush of responsibilities. The pros of starting the year full-on, however, outweigh the cons. It only takes a few weeks to fall into a regular rhythm of completing tasks, and by starting off with a bang, the adjustment is smoother.
(Christine Arumainayagam ’16, Staff Writer)