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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Students struggle with balance

Joy Haddleton
The student workload piles up in the final week of the semester.

With finals just around the corner, student anxiety is high. The workload is up with teachers trying to finish everything by the end of the semester, activities attempting to meet at least one last time before break and crazy personal lives all at once lead to unhealthy stress levels.

As a freshman, I’m taking three honors classes as well as a new language and an elective class, all while juggling participating in four different extracurricular groups and a busy personal life. This leaves me struggling to complete my homework, to make it on time to rehearsals, prepare for a Scholastic Bowl meet, write an article for the Blueprint and practice dance, all while still having time for myself. I have to resort to working during my lunch periods and staying up late to get everything done, and even then I have very little time for myself.

DGS fails to give us students the support we need to thrive both academically and personally. We’re told to “get involved,” but that leaves us struggling to get homework done fully and properly. We’re pressured to get good grades and maintain a high GPA, but in order to do so we must sacrifice time to do things we love.

Students are given the option for a study hall period, but then we miss out on taking an elective that reflects our interests or a language that we’d love to learn. If we take a study hall period, then we’re left unable to pursue our interests, figure out what we want to do with our lives and find who we wish to become. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about one third of students in a bachelor’s degree program changed their major, and one in 10 students overall changed their major more than once.

I’m not saying study halls and extracurriculars are inherently bad. Many students enjoy participating in sports and activities, and find that a study hall period is helpful to them.

Academics can be a harmful stressor too. Rowan University reports that in a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association 44% of students were concerned about doing great in school, and 29% of teens worried about getting into a good college or job.

Balancing academics and activities is rough, and with the last week of the semester almost here, we need to ensure a balance. Otherwise, it can become too much, much too quickly.

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