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DEBATE: Are High School Students Being Worked Too Hard?

Christopher & Sarah, two PMHS juniors, discuss the issue. Editor's note: For this article, begin with Chris's first argument (1) and then Sarah's first counter (1). Continue along for more of their back and forth.

April 18, 2019

The Affirmative

Chris Baldwin is a junior at PMHS and athlete on the Varsity Baseball team.

  1. I feel students are worked too hard because everyone is stressing out about all the work they are getting.
  2. I’ve talked to a lot of people and every time someone is stressed, they get upset and don’t feel any motivation to do anything and they lose all social life and all the work they get keeps piling on and gets harder and worse and hurts them.
  3. But if people play sports or have other important outside activities and we don’t know what their family life is like they might be struggling. Usually homework is due the next day and say an assignment is due at the end of the week so can other assignments for different classes and then they stress they don’t have enough time because they have important things to attend before they can do homework and then they lose sleep and everyone needs sleep.
  4. But with all these clubs are piling more work, and if they need to meet with people that takes up space too and if they get pulled out of class to speak to someone then they need to learn the new stuff from class at a different time which adds more.
  5. What many students are we talking about actual ones or ones who lie and say they are fine when they really aren’t?
  6. I mean people are getting overwhelmed in class and stressing over how they had so much work and got no sleep and fell asleep during class.
  7. High school should be a memorable time. I think we can both agree that the high school experience has its ups and downs but we should always strive to make it the best memory we can, despite some of the hardships that come along with it.
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    The Negative

    Sarah is an 11th grader involved scheduled in advanced courses and involved in several curricular prgrams.

    1. But is stress always a bad thing? Stress can serve as a very powerful motivator. It can motivate students to accomplish things and finish things they might not have thought they could.
    2. But isn’t there a possibility that the piles and piles of work they get comes from procrastinating or not managing their time well? There are a lot of students that procrastinate. Procrastination is what causes the stress, not the work. Poor time management causes students to lose their social life.
    3. Our school has many scholar athletes and hardworking students who balance many extracurriculars and sports. I know students who play sports every season and get involved in many clubs while maintaining a great social life and academic life. Not only that, Schools offer many different course tracks and help for those who may struggle. Guidance Counselors, social workers and teachers are all very understanding when it comes to the circumstances of different students.
    4. That’s a little exaggerated. If a student is so concerned about missing notes from a class period because they need to talk to an adult, they could always do it after school, that option is available. Students who have a good work ethic are very successful and that’s seen with many of our students who volunteer, play sports, and participate in different clubs while maintaining a great social life.
    5. I understand that you think we can’t assume that all students are truthful about their stress, but we also can’t assume that all students lie about their stress either.
    6. I’m sure there are a small number of students that feel that way over the workload, but the majority of students do handle it well. And at the end of the day most students in each class end up graduating. For most students, they will look back at their high-school career and cherish it knowing that it was a great time in their life even if they can’t see it now.
    7. I agree with that point.
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