The Scarcity of Time Affects Teen Stress


The 3:30 bell may have rung a few minutes ago, but it takes another hour or two for many students to go home. Some come home right in time for dinner, while others may have to cope with their empty stomachs a bit longer.

Four times a week, from 4:30 pm to around 7 pm, basketball practice keeps various students busy until nighttime. Surprisingly, they manage to get their homework done. Study halls play a prominent role in strewing senior Christian Howard’s homework. During his study halls, Howard usually finishes all his homework, even with time to spare on some occasions.

For Howard, apart from week days, Friday afternoons are spent relaxing – video games, watching or playing basketball – Saturdays on left over homework and Sundays are for church and relaxing. For him, stress is not a problem – he has study halls every day and twice on Wednesday. Waking up early and attending basketball practices may be the major stress factors in his life.

Although Howard manages around his homework, stress is present in many students who don’t have enough time to finish their homework. This includes those who have AP classes, basketball practice, drama practice, speed camp – you name it.

“Meh, I’ll do my homework tomorrow during lunch”, said senior Said Saud.

When time is scarce, students use their lunch time as a last resort. It is often used when homework is forgotten at school, when after-school activities cover much of the afternoon, or perhaps when there aren’t enough study halls.

Homework is meant to be done at home, hence “homework”, but when there is no time to do homework at home, students rely on occasions where they can do their homework, let it be before school or free time during a class.

In school and outside of school activities restrain students from going home. Consequently, due to scarce time, students come home, eat dinner, do their homework – and end up going to bed way beyond the recommended time for a healthy sleep.

Those who do go to sleep at curfew then spend the next day, perhaps during a study hall or lunch finishing their homework.

High school stress is not limited to school work, and many times it is not caused by physical stress, but mental stress as well.

“The effects of stress differ since things that are distressful for many people can be pleasurable for others. The effects of stress vary because we also respond to stressors in individual ways”, according to the American Institute of Stress.

It may not be so much the physical stress as the mental stress that dominates much of the student’s life. Speed camp, piano lessons, drama rehearsals, basketball practice, SATs, video games, Japanese classes, college applications and even thinking about the possibilities of your computer shutting down are all stress contributors.

Some manage around a busy schedule through study halls like Howard, while others sacrifice lunch, worrying about unfinished homework. Ultimately it is the scarcity of time that affects stress levels.


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