Take eight classes to avoid a work overload

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From the start of high school, we are programmed to prepare for college. “Participate in every extracurricular activity.” “Get an internship.” “Start studying for the SAT.” “Take the right classes.” But at CESJDS, it’s not just “Take the right classes,” it’s “Take the right nine classes.”

At JDS, we have seven mandatory classes and two elective slots. Most students think they must fill those two slots with a language, a science or another academic elective, but I strongly disagree.

I chose to double in language and science, and I drowned in work. I had to spend so much time on my excess of homework, tests and assessments that I didn’t have enough time for myself, my friends, my family and my other interests.

Additionally, teachers do not take into account how students spend their time outside of school when assigning work. Many of us participate in sports, art classes, STEM clubs, publications, community service activities and more. Nonetheless, teachers never consider the time spent on these activities when assigning homework. Ultimately, some students stay up until the early morning hours and sacrifice their health in the process (The latest I had to stay up in my JDS career was 4 a.m.).

This year, I’m taking eight academic classes and have a free period. That free period makes all the difference. I have a designated period of time during the day to get my work done, hang out with my friends and sometimes even nap (but don’t tell my mom that). By using this allotted time productively, I give myself more time after school to participate in my numerous activities and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Looking back on the first three years of high school, I wish I had included a study hall to do work or even act as a break during the day just like my free period. But I also wish I had explored other interests that are not necessarily academic, but would have benefited me in the long run nonetheless. So please, take that art class you’ve always wanted to take. Use one of your electives for a study hall. And finally, don’t stress yourself because everyone should have a break in their day.

This story was featured in the Volume 37, Issue 4 print edition of The Lion’s Tale, published on January 16, 2020.